Penalties <ul><li>Offence 1 = Up to 6 months in prison and a heavy fine. </li></ul><ul><li>Offence 2 = Up to 5 years in prison and a heavy fine. </li></ul><ul><li>Offence 3 = Up to 5 years in prison and a heavy fine. </li></ul><ul><li>Offence 3a = Up to 5 years in prison and a unlimited fine. </li></ul>
What is it? The Data Protection Act gives individuals the right to know what information is held about them. It provides a framework to ensure that personal information is handled properly.
How it works It states that anyone who processes personal information must comply with eight principles, which make sure that personal information is: Fairly and lawfully processed; Processed for limited purposes; Adequate, relevant and not excessive; Accurate and up to date; Not kept for longer than is necessary; Processed in line with your rights; Secure; Not transferred to other countries without authorized permission
What does it do It defines a legal basis for the handling in the UK of information relating to living people. It is the main piece of legislation that governs protection of personal data in the UK. Although the Act does not mention privacy, in practice it provides a way in which individuals can enforce the control of information about themselves. Most of the Act does not apply to domestic use, for example keeping a personal address book. Organisations in the UK are legally obliged to comply with this Act, subject to some exemptions.
Who deals with it? Compliance with the Act is enforced by an independent government authority, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The ICO maintains guidance relating to the Act. The UK Data Protection Act is a large Act that has a reputation for complexity. While the basic principles are honoured for protecting privacy, interpreting the act is not always simple. Many companies, organisations and individuals seem very unsure of the aims, content and principles of the DPA. Some hide behind the Act and refuse to provide even very basic, publicly available material quoting the Act as a restriction. [
Copyright <ul><li>The copyright act was invented to help people who claimed ownership over things such as programmes, books, art. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t have to apply to the government to copyright your product just inform them that you have done it and you will be covered legally, it will prevent someone from copying your idea. </li></ul>
Patent <ul><li>Patents are for people who have invented a new product or piece of technology, and the patent prevents another person from copying that idea and trying to sell it. The benefits or a patent are that nobody is able to copy your idea. </li></ul>
Design Act <ul><li>The Design Act prevents people from copying another person design. For example a car company can’t make a new car the same shape and style as another car company. The benefit of this is that it means people can design a product and it will be unique. </li></ul>
The Freedom of Information Act came into force at the beginning of 2005. It deals with access to official information, while parallel regulations deal with environmental information. The Act provides individuals or organisations with the right to request information held by a public authority. They can do this by letter or email. The public authority must tell the applicant whether it holds the information, and must normally supply it within 20 working days, in the format requested. However, the public authority does not have to confirm or deny the existence of the information or provide it if an exemption applies, the request is vexatious or similar to a previous request, or if the cost of compliance exceeds an appropriate limit. If exemption applies, but is qualified, this means that the public authority must decide whether the public interest in using the exemption outweighs the public interest in releasing the information. The Basics
What rights do I have under the Freedom of Information Act? You have the right to access information held by public authorities. For more information see our factsheet below. What bodies are covered by the Act? The Act applies to public authorities and companies wholly owned by public authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. A full list of public authorities covered by the Act can be found on the Department of Constitutional Affairs website. Will I be able to get any information I want? Not always. The Act recognises that there will be valid reasons why some kinds of information may be withheld, such as if its release would prejudice national security or damage commercial interests. Public authorities are not obliged to deal with vexatious or repeated requests. In addition the Act does not provide the right of access to personal information about yourself. This is instead available under the Data Protection Act 1998, again subject to certain exemptions. How long will I have to wait to get the information? The public authority generally has 20 working days to provide the information that you have requested. What can I do if I am unhappy with the way my request has been dealt with, or with the information provided? You can complain to the Information Commissioner's Office. Your right to know
The Freedom of Information Act applies to public authorities and companies that are wholly owned by public authorities. Public authorities are obliged to provide information: > Through a publication scheme > In response to requests made under the general right of access. When responding to requests, there are set procedures that public authorities need to follow. These include: The time public authorities are allowed for responding to requests. The fees or amount that public authorities can charge for dealing with requests. Public authorities are not obliged to deal with requests if the costs of finding the information exceed a set amount known as the appropriate limit. Your legal obligations
What the Freedom of Information Act will mean for you. The Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations allow you access to recorded information (such as emails, meeting minutes, research or reports) held by public authorities in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. A public authority includes: central government and government departments local authorities (councils) hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, dentists, pharmacists and opticians state schools, colleges and universities police forces and prison services What the Freedom of Information Act will mean for you.