Jackie Skelly Fitness: Club Membership Rip-off: Data Protection

The following are extracts from http://www.dataprotection.ie Your Rights:


4. Right to know if your personal details are being held


If you think that an organisation or individual may be holding some of your personal details, you can ask them to confirm this within 21 days. If they do have personal details about you, they must tell you which details they hold and the reason why they are holding this information. You can ask for this information free of charge.


5. Right to change or remove your details

If you discover that a data controller has details about you that are not factually correct, you can ask them to change or, in some cases, remove these details.

Similarly, if you feel that the organisation or person does not have a valid reason for holding your personal details or that they have taken these details in an unfair way, you can ask them to change or remove these details.

In both cases, you can write to the organisation or person, explaining your concerns or outlining which details are incorrect. Within 40 days, the organisation must do as you ask or explain why they will not do so.


6. Right to prevent use of your personal details

You can also ask a data controller not to use your personal details for purposes other than their main purpose – for example for marketing.

You can do this by simply writing to the organisation or person holding your details and outlining your views. Within 40 days, they must do as you ask or explain why they will not do so.


7. Right to remove your details from a direct marketing list

If a data controller holds personal details about you for direct marketing purposes, you can ask them to remove your details. You can do this by writing to the organisation or person holding these details. They must let you know within 40 days if they have dealt with your request.


10. Right to refuse direct marketing calls or mail

If you do not want to receive direct marketing telephone calls, you should contact your service provider. They will make a note of your request in the National Directory Database (NDD) ‘opt-out’ register. It is an offence to make direct marketing calls to any phone number listed in the NDD. If you have not included your phone number in this register, you can also refuse such calls by simply asking the caller not to phone you again.

An organisation must get your permission before they contact you by fax machine or automated dialling for direct marketing purposes.

An organisation must also get your permission before they send marketing emails to your computer or before they send marketing text messages to your mobile phone.


How do I request access to my details?

To request access to your details, send a letter or email to the organisation or person holding your personal details and ask them for a copy of this information. The details should be easy to understand and you should receive them within 40 days of your request. You may have to pay a small fee, but this cannot be higher than €6.35.

In your request you should

  • give any details that will help the person to identify you and find your data – for example a customer account number, any previous address or your date of birth; and
  • be clear about which details you are looking for if you only want certain information. This will help the organisation or person respond more quickly.

Some sample wording appears below as a guide.

Dear Data Protection Officer,

Under the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003, I wish to make an access request for a copy of any information you keep about me, on computer or in manual form.

[My customer account number is …]

[My date of birth is…]

[My previous address was….]

Yours faithfully,


What is the role of the Data Protection Commissioner?

The Data Protection Commissioner aims to make sure that your rights are being upheld and that data controllers respect data protection rules. If you think that an organisation or person is breaking these rules and you are not satisfied with their response to your concerns, you can complain to the Commissioner.

How do I make a complaint to the Commissioner?

To make a complaint, simply write to or email the Data Protection Commissioner explaining your case. In your letter or email, you should:
• name the organisation or person you are complaining about;
• describe the steps you have taken to have your concerns dealt with;
• give details of any response which you have received; and
• provide copies of any letters or emails exchanged between you and the organisation or person.

The Commissioner will investigate your complaint and try to resolve the matter in the best way possible. If this is not possible, you may ask the Commissioner to make a formal decision on whether the data controller has violated your rights. However, the Commissioner cannot award you compensation. If the Commissioner agrees with your complaint, he will try to make sure that the data controller obeys the law and puts matters right. If the Commissioner rejects your complaint, he will let you know in writing. If you are not happy with the Commissioner’s decision, you can appeal the decision in the Circuit Court.


Can I claim compensation?

Organisations or people holding your personal details have a legal duty to handle this data with care. If you suffer damage through the mishandling of your personal details, you may be able to claim compensation through the courts. You should discuss this matter with your solicitor. The Commissioner has no function in these actions and cannot give you legal advice.


Further information

If you need further information about your rights, you can contact our office by telephone or email or you can visit our website. We will also send you information on data protection rules, free of charge, when you contact us at:

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner
Canal House
Station Road
Co. Laois

LoCall: 1890 252 231
Tel: 057 868 4800
Fax: 057 868 4757
Email: info@dataprotection.ie
Website: www.dataprotection.ie