Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course here. Or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.



If you want to find out what information a company holds about you, it's your legal right to be able to do this. And there are really two key ways you can do it, so let's start with the first way. Often, when you set up an account with a company, you can enter in your details, so often if you just go into the settings on your account login, you will be able to see what they hold about you, you will be able to see your address, your phone number, your email and you can also change it in this information. You can also usually from these screens, delete your account. So if you want to just delete all your data, you do not want to buy from that company again, you do not want them to have your address. You can just delete it. So that's the first easy way of dealing with it. It's sometimes the fastest way as well, just go in, see what they have got and delete it or remove it or change your email, whatever you want to do. Another way in a similar vein would be to contact them, email them, phone them up or talk to them and say, what information do you hold? Can I change it? Can I change the address?

Or there may be some settings on the system or information they have and you do not want them to have any more. Or it may be you want to close your account fully. So just by contacting them and asking, say, please delete all data, then it keeps it. Yes, it's your legal right to do this. But this keeps it a lot easier and nicer to because you can just say, stop everything on my account, I do not want to deal with it anymore and I just want it all deleted. And they may want you to validate that because you could just be anybody phoning them up. So they may want you to send them an email as well to back it up. But that's a nice, simple, easy way. Now, if they do not work, either, you cannot access it online, or you find them and they just would not do it. And they still keep emailing you. And you do need to find out what information they hold about you because if you know what information they hold about you, then you can do something about it, you can legally enforce them to change that information or declare exactly what they are doing with it. And you can, under the data protection regulations, put in a SARs request. The SAR stands for Subject Access Request.

Now a Subject Access Request enforces a company to actually send over a copy of what information they have about you. Now, the very first thing we said is to go into the website and see information because nine times out of 10, all the information they hold about you may well be on the account settings on the login section for their website. So going there, you can actually often answer the question straight away. Also, you have the right to have that information changed. So you can contact them and say it's the wrong address. And again, if you have already got a login into their account, there's often a quicker way around to doing it. But what they can send you, they can only send you stuff that personally identifies you. So if you are dealing with a company, then do not expect loads and loads of stuff. Often, you would be quite surprised how little information they have to send to you. But they do have to send information; they will have to send off all the data they hold about you or information is there. But what they would not have to do supposing your name is mentioned between another person or employee, then they would also because it's their personal data, need permission for that information to be released.

So putting in a Subject Access Request is not something I would do just for basically finding information; use it as an absolute last resort, because putting Subject Access Requests do cause a lot of problems with companies and time, it takes a lot of time to get it right. And also they need to send the information back to you in the format that you want. So it might be by post, it might be by email, whichever you choose, is much, much easier to try and get the information from a company directly yourself or through their website than putting the Subject Access Request. But that said, if you get to the point where you just cannot get information changed, you want to find out why this company is emailing you because you have never dealt with it before, then that's the sort of thing that a Subject Access Request is really good for and they have to answer that within a preset number of days. So you will get your answer within a matter of weeks.