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FOI and Data Protection: the difference

Difference between Freedom of Information and data protection

FOI covers information held by public authorities, but not requests for personal information about the person making the request. FOI is about providing access to public information.

Data protection legislation protects personal data. It gives you the legal right to access information held about you (by making a Subject Access Request) and, in some cases, to prevent your personal information being seen, used or processed by other people.

We are committed to making sure your personal data is protected. FOI does not provide access to information which cannot be accessed under the Data Protection Law.

If you ask for personal information about someone else, then your request will be handled under the FOI law, but the principles of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005 will be applied to decide whether we can release that information to you.

If releasing the information means we would be breaking the data protection law, we must refuse your request.

Further information and guidance about data protection is available on the Office of the Information Commissioner Jersey website.

The Office of the Information Commissioner website

You cannot obtain personal information about yourself by making an FOI request.

How to request personal data

Under Data Protection legislation, you have the right to make a subject access request so that you can access information from any organisation that processes your personal data (you being the 'subject' of the information). 

You have the right to get a copy of the information that is held about you by making a subject access request. There may be a £10 fee for this.

Find more information about making a subject access request on the Office of the Information Commissioner's website.

The Office of the Information  Commissioner website

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