Data Protection Introduction

The Data Protection Act 1998 governs the processing of personal data and we as individuals have the right to access personal information held about us by all organisations that hold personal information, such as government departments, banks, credit card companies, local councils, schools, hospitals, doctors, your past and present employers, internet and mail order companies.

As a higher education institution Falmouth University must collect, process and disclose personal information about staff (whether permanent or temporary, paid or volunteer) and students according to the eight principles of the DPA.

For further detailed information please follow the menu links (right) or contact the Information Office at Falmouth:

Brief history

The 1998 Act replaced and consolidated earlier legislation such as the Data Protection Act 1984 and the Access to Personal Files Act 1987. At the same time it aimed to implement the European Data Protection Directive. In some aspects, notably electronic communication and marketing, it has been refined by subsequent legislation for legal reasons.

The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 altered the consent requirement for most electronic marketing to 'positive consent' such as an opt-in box. Exemptions remain for the marketing of 'similar products and services' to existing customers and enquirers, which can still be permissioned on an opt-out basis.

Accessing information under the Data Protection Act

The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) entitles individuals to request access to any personal data that an organisations may hold about them - which of course includes Falmouth. This is known as a Subject Access Request or SAR. The process that should be followed when requesting personal information from Falmouth is explained in our Subject Access Request procedure and is applicable to staff and students. Under the DPA a fee can be charged for each request received, depending on the type of request. A brief description of the types of request applicable to Falmouth is given below:

  • Personal information from an organisation will usually cost a maximum of £10
  • Requesting personal information including your education records: a sliding scale ranging from £1 - £50 depending on the number of pages to be provided

The Subject Access Request Process and the application form can both be downloaded below.

Policy documentation and useful links

Please find below links to downloadable documents and useful weblinks.

Document downloads


Contact us

For more information or specific enquiries, please contact the Information Office: