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ICO slaps Enforcement Notice to Ministry of Justice for the delay in responding to subject access requests (SARs)- No matter who you are, do not ignore a SAR

On 12th January 2022, the Information Commissioner issued an Enforcement Notice to the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice is the first central government department to be served with an Enforcement Notice from the ICO. The Notice is issued for a failure to comply with SARs received by the Ministry of Justice in a timely fashion.

Paragraphs 31, 32, and 33 of the Notice indicate that factors such as (a) a substantial number of SARs received by the controller, (b) volume of the data captured under the SAR, (c) shortage of staff due to the pandemic to deal with the SAR and (d) partial disclosure to SARs, do not provide any defence in an investigation from the ICO.

Access to personal data requested by a data subject is a statutory right under Article 15 of the UK GDPR. Failure to provide access to personal data within the timeline to respond is an infringement of this right. Factors such as the cost of providing the data or limited resources due to the pandemic to answer a request have repeatedly proven to be insufficient in defending investigation by the ICO.

There are better ways to deal with a SAR that are quick, efficient, cost-effective and do not make the business non-compliant. If you would like to discuss this, we are happy to help you.

This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email: mailinglists@greenwoods.co.uk




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      By completing and submitting this form, you consent to Greenwoods Legal LLP processing your personal data to provide you with the email update services you have selected and any other materials and information about our services that Greenwoods Legal LLP reasonably believes will be of interest to you. You are free to withdraw your consent at any time by emailing mailinglists@greenwoods.co.uk