Whilst I agree that the guidance should be much more explicit on this point, in my view the amswer to your question is yes.

Back up is surely a form of "archiving it in a structured, retrievable manner" and therefore remains subject to normal DP and SAR rules. It would be difficult for ICO to say otherwise as there are legal precedents showing that back-up material is subject to SAR.

 

----- Original Message -----

From: Mark Ogden

Sent: 09/14/12 10:42 AM

To: [log in to unmask]

Subject: [data-protection] ICO guidance on deleting personal data


I've come across the ICO's new guidance on deleting personal data.

http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/data_protection/the_guide/information_standards/~/media/documents/library/Data_Protection/Practical_application/deleting_personal_data.ashx

Although backups are not specifically mentioned, the following section refers to circumstances where "information has been deleted with no intention on the part of the data controller to use or access this again, but which may still exist in the electronic ether. For example, it could be waiting to be over-written with other data." If the information has been put 'beyond use' then the data controller is not required to grant individuals subject access. There are also four tests, or 'safeguards' that need to be in place to satisfy this definition.

Does this mean that if an email is deleted from the 'live' system, but may persist for a time in daily/weekly/monthly backups, while waiting to be overwritten by subsequent backups, there is no obligation to restore that backup to locate relevant personal data? There is no intention to process the data again, therefore by this interpretation the records would be deleted rather than archived. Or alternatively, is holding a backup for disaster recovery purposes still an intention to use or access the data again?

best wishes

Mark Ogden

 

Mark Ogden

Information Policy Advisor

Information and Knowledge Management

British Council

 

 


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