Another new Off topic: DPA question

Ian Batten igb at
Fri Jul 18 16:36:06 BST 2014

On 18 Jul 2014, at 12:24, jul kornbluth <jul at> wrote:

> Hello
> Another off topic question on the DPA if I may.
> We have had a complaint raised against our school with the Schools Adjudicator.   I am chair of the trustees. The School Adjudicator has powers virtually unchangeable,  and has tied us up in knots and numerous meetings.   The complainant has asked to remain anonymous.
> The 2012 Admission Code, which is the Statutory basis of the Adjudicators investigation, states clearly anonymous complaints cannot be brought. ~ para 3.3.f)    In the Notes it states  that the person objecting must provide their name to the Adjudicator.  Are the notes part of the Code, or am I entitled to find out under the DPA who this objector is  e.g. a parent, prospective parent, member of staff, an unconnected outsider, or even a member of the governing body? 

No.  Because the Data Protection Act applies to individuals, not corporate bodies, 
and the board of governors are a corporate body (S.1(1) "“data subject” means an 
individual who is the subject of personal data;").

It's therefore not relevant what document is part of what: a governing body, acting
corporately, is not an "individual" and information about it is not "personal data".

Even were that not to stop you, you can't use the DPA to find out about other
people because of S.7(4) "Where a data controller cannot comply with the request 
without disclosing information relating to another individual who can be identified 
rom that information, he is not obliged to comply with the request unless" (either the
subject agrees or would have no reason whatsoever to object, neither of which is
likely to apply).

The DPA is about data about _you_.  It's not about companies, it's not about corporate
bodies, and it's not about other people.


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