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The Data Protection Act 1998 was passed on 16 July 1998. Guidance on the general application of the act can be found on the Information Commissioner's website.

Guide for records management and archivists

The National Archives has produced a guide setting out how the act affects records managers and archivists. The guide is short by comparison with the legislation itself, and refers throughout to the published act.

A guide for records managers and archivists  (PDF, 0.74Mb)

The guide explains the new definitions which occur in the act and summarises the data subject's rights and the data protection principles. It also explains the exemptions for processing for historical or research purposes, and the complex transitional provisions. Note that it was published before the Freedom of Information Act was passed and does not reflect amendments made by that act to the Data Protection Act.

Code of practice

A code of practice for archivists and records managers was produced jointly by The National Archives, the Society of Archivists, the Records Management Society and the National Association for Information Management. The Information Commissioner is satisfied that it provides clear authoritative advice that should promote good practice, and it was published on that basis in October 2007.

Code of practice for archivists and records managers under Section 51(4) of the Data Protection Act (PDF, 0.56Mb)

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