ICO details change to response timescales for data subject access requests

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued updated guidance on the timescales for responding to a data subject access request (DSAR) following a recent ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The general rule is that DSARs must be complied with without undue delay and at the latest within one month of receipt. The day of receipt of the DSAR will now be counted as Day One instead of the day after receipt. In the ICO’s example, this means that an organisation receiving a DSAR on 4 September has until 4 October to comply.

If there’s no corresponding calendar date in the following month, the date for responding will be the last day of the following month. In the ICO’s example, this means that an organisation receiving a DSAR on 31 March has until 30 April to comply.

It makes no difference to the calculation as to whether the day of receipt is a working day or a non-working day. However, where the calculated date for complying with the DSAR falls on a weekend or a public holiday, the organisation has until the end of the next working day to respond.

In light of this change, data controllers should review and revise their data protection and DSAR policies and any other documentation/notifications that reference the timescales for a response, including privacy notices.

Relevant staff within the organisation will need to be notified of the change.

Controllers should also look to review their arrangements with any data processors in order to ensure that the change is suitably addressed.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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