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Subject Access Requests

What is a Subject Access Request?

Under the Data Protection Legislation, individuals are able to make requests to organisations to see any personal information which is held about them. This is called a "subject access request".

The Information Commissioner's Office gives the following definition of personal information:

Personal data means data which relate to a living individual who can be identified –

(a) from those data, or

(b) from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller,

and includes any expression of opinion about the individual and any indication of the intentions of the data controller or any other person in respect of the individual.

(Information Commissioner's Office)

You may find it helpful to read the guidance from the Information Commissioner's Office on how to request your personal information.

How Do I Make a Subject Access Request?

To help us faciliate your Subject Access Request, it would be helpful if you could complete a Data Subject Rights Form, providing as much information as possible, and submit this by email to infocompliance at warwick dot ac dot uk or send it to:

Information and Data Compliance
University House
University of Warwick

In addition you will need to send a copy of your ID such as a passport, driving license, birth certificate or other internationally recognised ID card. The University will not release personal data to you unless fully satisfied as to your identity.

Download a Data Subject Rights form here:

Or complete our online Data Subject Rights form

Please be aware that in some cases specific procedures are in place for allowing access to particular types of information, such as access to copies of Student Transcripts. In these cases please follow the existing procedures.

How can I get the most out of my subject access request?

You are advised to make your request for information as specific as possible to include, details of dates, type of information (eg memos, letters, reports, emails etc), department and the names of authors and recipients, where appropriate. If you know which departments in the University hold information on you, please state this on your application. If you are requesting correspondence, it will help greatly if you can let us know who the correspondence will be from and during which time period.

The University reserves the right to seek additional information from the data subject before processing the request. The statutory period for requests to be fulfilled is one month, but you will be advised of the reasons why it may be necessary to extend this period, eg if the original request is not clear and further clarification is required.

What are the timeframes for my subject access request?

Subject access requests will be handled within one month of receipt of your request, identification and any clarification.

How will I receive my information?

We will normally provide you with an electronic copy or a hard copy for collection only of the information you have requested, you can specify which you prefer on the Data Subject Rights form above.

What should I do if I am unhappy with the response I receive?

If you have concerns about the response you have received, or are unhappy with the response, you should contact the Information and Data Compliance team in the first instance, via infocompliance at warwick dot ac dot uk. If you have reason to believe that there are specific documents missing from your disclosure, it will help us investigate if you can list them or provide us with more information about the location of those documents.

Please note that some historic data may no longer be held due to our ordinary data retention policies. We will have only searched for information held in structured file systems - if the information required is found in an unstructured or partly structured system you will need to give us additional information in order that we can carry out a thorough search.

If you are submitting a subject access request relating to an ongoing appeals process, or another kind of ongoing review, some of this data may be considered exempt from disclosure. If this is data that you have directly requested, we will ordinarily inform you that we have considered that particular document exempt from disclosure. We will normally be able to disclose these documents once the appeals process is over.

If you are still unhappy with the response you have received, you may go through the University complaints procedure. You may also contact the Information Commissioner's Office and ask them to carry out an assessment.