As soon as you collect people’s personal information – which is often pretty important when organising an arts activity – you become subject to the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), designed to protect the rights of people whose details you collect.
Before you start to collect personal information its worth taking a moment to consider,
• What information do you need to collect?
• What will you use if for?
• Will you want to share it with anyone else?
• How will it be stored (electronically, paper record)?
• Who will have access to it?
• How long will you keep it?
Knowing the answers to these questions are the first steps to complying with the Data Protection Act. They can also help you decide if more formal arrangements such as drafting privacy statements or notifying the Information Commissioner (who oversees the DPA) of your activities are necessary.
Information about people’s health, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, political views or criminal history is classified as ‘sensitive personal data’ and additional safeguards should to be in place should you need to collect this information.
For more information about the Data Protection Act, and what you need to do to comply please see the Information Commissioner’s website http://www.ico.gov.uk/ or contact them on 0303 123 1113.
Please note: We do not provide legal advice. This guide is for general information purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice. You should consult your own lawyer if you have questions.