Corporate Governance

Data Protection FAQs

Specific FAQs

Records Management FAQs
  Main terms used in the act

Corporate Info Disclosure FAQs


Specific FAQs

Q: How do I find out what information is held about me?

A: You are entitled to ask any organisation that you think might hold information about you for access to that data. This is called a subject access request.

Your request must be in writing (and include the published fee if one is charged) and provide sufficient information to confirm your identity and to enable the data controller to locate the information you require. Most organisations, the University included, will have a SAR form you can complete to request your information.  

Q: What will I receive from the University (data controller) if I make a subject access request?

A: You will be told whether we hold any personal data relating to you, what that information is, the purpose for which it is being processed and to whom the information might be disclosed.

You will also receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you.

Q: I need to contact a friend on my course / a colleague at home.  Can you give me their telephone number?

A: Unfortunately not.  The University cannot disclose information to a third party without the individual's prior consent. We will though, pass on a message to the student or member of staff to let them know you are trying to contact them.

Q: Can I pick up my friend's work for him / her?

A: Only if you have their written consent for you to do so. Without that, you cannot pick up their work.

Q: I know that final degree results are usually printed in the local paper, but I have personal reasons for not wanting my result published in this way.  Can I stop my details from appearing?

A: You can opt-out from having your details published by informing the University's Graduation team.  However, there is a deadline by which you must inform the team before the information is sent to print - after that date it may not be possible to remove your details.

Q: I appear in the background of a photograph used by my department for advertising purposes.  Should the department have asked for my permission to use the photograph?

A: The department does not need to gain your permission to use the photograph if you are not clearly identifiable in the picture and it seems unlikely that you will be caused any distress from the publication of the photograph.

Q: In what circumstances will the University disclose my personal data to third parties?

A: The University will disclose your personal data in the following situations:

  • when you have given the university written consent to disclose your personal data
  • when the University is under a legal requirement to provide information e.g. to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, government departments, the Quality Assurance Agency, funding councils
  • when legally required to do so for crime prevention and detection purposes
  • where disclosure is related to financial matters associated with your education e.g. the Student Loans Company and Local Education Authorities. If necessary, details will also be passed to parties involved in the recovery of debts to the University.
  • where disclosure is to the Portsmouth City Council for Council Tax purposes
  • where it is believed it is in your vital interests to do so, e.g. if you are involved in an accident and need emergency treatment.