Subject Access Requests – tapmydata – Medium

Subject Access Requests

Go to the profile of Andy Baker Andy Baker

Dec 5

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on May 25, 2018, and was designed to modernise laws that protect the personal information of individuals.

At a first glance there’s not much exciting about the GDPR. Legal jargon, suits, lobbying and a load of junk emails and pop ups telling us all to accept and agree to updated privacy policies. Despite this, the GDPR and the individual rights associated with it have provided individuals with some pretty nifty tools (rights) in their personal data arsenal.

One of those rights is called a subject access request, right to access, sometimes referred to as a SAR. In this short post we will look at what an access request is, (we will refer to them as access request in this post), how it works and how Tap provides different approach…

What is a subject access request?

The Information Commissioner’s Office , or ICO, refer to an access request as:

“The right of access, commonly referred to as subject access, gives individuals the right to obtain a copy of their personal data as well as other supplementary information. It helps individuals to understand how and why you are using their data, and check you are doing it lawfully.”

The ICO discuss plenty about them and you can even read the full regulation (if you have the time!).

If you haven’t switched off yet by the term access request, bear with!

Think about it in another way. There’s little bits of yourself (or data) everywhere. From the train you took this morning, to the checkout aisle you went through paying for your shopping. There is a trail of you in every corner of our economy. These breadcrumbs are used to either market to you, track your activity, and can go against you through data misuse or handling. In our connected world, you give away snippets of yourself everyday; there’s a saying on the web — if you’re getting something for free, then you are the product…

An access request essentially gives individuals power to know where those snippets of yourself are, who has them, why they have them and request a copy. Under GDPR, you have the legal right to do this all for free!

How Subject Access Requests currently work

So how do you take control of your data? Well, it’s not always straightforward.

To exercise this right you currently have to send your request to an organisation. Many organisations have different methods for individuals to send data requests. Our data has shown that most companies bury an email in a 200 page privacy policy or force customers to resort to Twitter ( we’ve seen plenty of disasters on that platform! ). Some prefer more medieval methods such as snail-mail (letters).

Much of the discovery we’re doing at Tap has begun to match research such as this recently published report that showed the majority of privacy policies do not explain what data is shared with whom, and that subject access requests are often delayed or not answered at all.

A data discovery tool for individuals

The Tap app is a discovery tool for individuals to take control of their data. One of the first ways individuals can take control is by finding organisations and sending an access request. Within a few taps individuals are able to send an access request without resorting to insecure or lengthy methods. After all we’ve found most individuals would rather a simple place to do this. We’ve got a guide on how to send a subject access request from our mobile app.

A Subject Data Portal for organisations

Tap provides a platform where you can handle data requests at volume. A secure and safe place to manage SARs. We’ve written about how organisations can respond and handle subject access requests using the Tap portal on our guide .

Talk about Data

Tap provides a secure two way street between both organisations and individuals when it comes to access requests. Individuals are provided with a secure and easy to use mobile app to send data requests, whilst organisations are able to respond quickly and securely.

Subject access requests don’t have to be laborious and tedious for everyone. Tap offers a quick and simple way to do this and gives organisations and their customers a way communicate effectively and transparently about personal data.

We’re in beta!

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