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ChumpusRex

Data Protection Act Question

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Just wondering if anyone here knows about handling Subject Access Requests.

Essentially, a client made a SAR, and we responded by providing all the data. Some of it, due to its complexity, is natively electronic, and was provided as the raw data files (which are in an open-standard, reusable format). Although the data was provided on disc in a standard format, because of its specialist nature, the data requires specialist software, and no commercial OS provides a built-in viewer.

If the disc was produced for anyone in the industry, there would be no problems, as any institution would have software capable of opening the data, However, for SARs we normally bundle a cross-platform, open-source viewer/explorer/analyser. In this case, the client is threatening the ICO because they don't want to install the viewer software, but without it, they are unable to view the data.

I'm just curious whether anyone knows whether I am obliged to do any data conversion (which would render the data unreusable for the purpose for which it was obtained), or whether the data has been provided in an documented, industry-standard open-format is sufficient.

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I would phone the ICO and clarify your situation. I have zero understanding of the techie side so can't help you there but I have had to travel to view material in the host organisations office in the past. I took some screen shots of the data I wanted. It was an inconvenience but better than not getting the info.

I was not offered viewer software, if I had of been I would have used it. Is there any logical reason why they won't install it? Or are they just being pernickety?

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