What is the right of access?

You have the right to ask an organisation whether or not they are using or storing your personal information. You can also ask them for copies of your personal information, verbally or in writing.

This is called the right of access and is commonly known as making a subject access request or SAR.

This guide explains how to make a subject access request.

We have also published specific guidance for individuals who want to make a subject access request for their personal information that is held by the police and wider criminal justice system.

Why make a subject access request?

You can make a subject access request to find out:

  • what personal information an organisation holds about you;
  • how they are using it;
  • who they are sharing it with; and
  • where they got your data from.

This information can also help you exercise your other information rights effectively.

Example

After receiving copies of your personal data held by your GP surgery, you notice they have inaccurately recorded your date of birth.

You could now contact your GP surgery with a request to get your personal information corrected.