What is the Data Protection Act (DPA)?
The Data Protection Act 1998 seeks to strike a balance between the rights of individuals and the sometimes competing interests of those with legitimate reasons for using personal information.
The Act aims to promote high standards in the handling of personal information and so protect the individual's right to privacy.
The DPA gives individuals certain rights regarding information held about them. It places obligations on those who process information (data controllers) while giving rights to those who are the subject of that data (data subjects). Personal information covers both facts and opinions about the individual.
(Taken from the Information Commissioner website)