The Data Protection Act 1998 aimed to balance the entitlement of organisations to collect, store and manage various types of personal data, with the privacy rights of the individual about whom the data was held.

The Act covered both manual and computerised records that, when put together with other information, could divulge personal information about an individual. It gave individuals certain rights, and required decision-makers to be open about processing and to comply with the eight data protection principles.

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