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Data Protection Act 1998

The Data Protection Act 1998 defines UK law regarding the processing of data about identifiable living people. It is the main piece of legislation governing the protection of personal data in the UK.

As museums collect information about living people in their documentation systems (paper and electronic) they are classed as ‘data controllers’ and have legal obligations about the way they hold, safeguard and use the data they are collecting. The Information Commissioners Office is the independent authority for upholding information rights.

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Date created: 1998

Author: UK Government