Countess of Mar: House of Lords question
4 February 2011
On 2 February, the Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government (further to the written answer by Lord McNally on 24 January, ref WA 92-3), " Whether individuals who believe their details may be held in the National Archives file BN 1/141 are entitled to know whether that can be confirmed; and whether they or their relatives will be informed when the records are released in 2072. " [HL6375]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally) replied: " Under the Data Protection Act, individuals are entitled to a right of access to information held about themselves. If an individual wants to exercise this subject access right, they should write to The National Archives, as the Data Controller for file BN 1/141. The National Archives is able to claim an exemption from the duty to provide the information when the request relates to records that are not available to the public but I can confirm that the exemption will not be claimed in this case.
"The National Archives is unable to inform individuals, or their relatives, as to when information held about them is released to the public. The information will be released in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. In the case of BN 1/141, that is when the exemption at Section 40 of that Act no longer applies. Section 40 is used when disclosure of personal information about living individuals would be a breach of their data protection rights."