How to make a Subject Access Request

Sometimes it can be quite confusing to figure out what information organisations hold about you. We receive lots of enquiries about how people go about doing this so to launch a new section of the website – Take Action – here’s an introduction to do just that.

Under the Data Protection Act you are entitled to make a ‘Subject Access Request’ to the ‘Data Controller’, which allows you to receive all the information that is held about you by the organisation. We have recently had a series of queries about how to go about making this kind of request, and so we have put together a template letter than can be amended to suit your personal request.  We have also included some helpful tips to guide you through the process.

You can download the letter here.

Sometimes you’ll have to pay a fee for the data, and you’ll also have to go through a process to confirm you are indeed the person making the claim.

Legally you’re entitled to a response within 40 days as long as the necessary fee has been paid.  If they do not hold data about you, the organisation is legally required to tell you.

You can also see more information on the Information Commissioner’s website here.

Posted by on Mar 23, 2012 in Take Action | 3 Comments


  1. Before It's News
    25th June 2012

    […] Rather than making obese people take responsibility for their health, this proposal would see the habits of millions of healthy shoppers handed over and  held by the state. If the data is to be any use it will have to come with some personal information and may be far from anonymous. If the contents of your basket weren’t upto scratch then this data will be fed back and you’ll start seeing targeted health advice, irrespective of whether you go to the gym every day or not. Supermarket spy sounds more like a gameshow but with loyalty cards tracking your every purchase it’s very much a reality. Of course, if you want to find out what your supermarket does know about you, why not make a Subject Access Request? […]

  2. Mark Rance
    8th March 2014

    I am under threat of redundancy. I have reason to believe that confidential emails exist between my senior manager and other members of the governing body which suggest that I am personally being targeted because of my personality and my opinions rather than the job being genuinely reviewed. Do I have any rights to have access to all communications between people about this situation?

  3. Bungle
    11th February 2016

    Hi Mark, did anyone get back to you?

    I suspect that the organisations will say that it’s not disclosable under section 7 of data protection, but don’t let that put you off. You are still entitled to know if these people spoke to one another… this shows this puts them under pressure to disclose why they were talking to each other?