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Access to personal information

Access to personal information

You have the right to ask for information held by a Scottish public authority and in most circumstances to be given that information.

Freedom of information law, however, works alongside other laws which are designed to protect some information from release. Information protected by data protection laws cannot be released in response to a freedom of information request. There has to be a balance between public access to information and the privacy rights of individuals.

The General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 came into effect on 25 May 2018 and made many changes to data protection laws in the UK (and the rest of Europe).

The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) enforces and regulates data protection throughout the whole of the UK, including Scotland. If you want to complain about the handling of a request for your personal information, you can contact the ICO at their headquarters in Wilmslow, Cheshire, or the regional office in Edinburgh.

You can access our latest guidance for public authorities on responding to requests for personal information under freedom of information law.