A Subject Access Request is a simple way of gathering the information you need for your case from the parking company itself.
Why do I need to make a Subject Access Request?
If you have received a Claim Form, often and deliberately, it will be missing a lot of detail that you need to prepare a defence. So by sending a Subject Access Request you can get the claimant parking company to provide all the information e.g. copies of the parking charge, copies of the pics, copies of the signs and any other information they have on you. What is of vital importance is that you get these early to allow you to make an informed decision on how you want to deal with claim i.e. pay, challenge or negotiate.
We recommend challenge if it is unfair, or negotiate if there is partial failure on the defendant's part. There is no point in paying the full amount as the claim is padded with all sorts of amounts that are not payable.
Under the DPA 1998, there used to be a charge up to £10 for a Request. Under the DPA 2018 / GDPR, a request for personal information is free unless the request is ‘manifestly unfounded or excessive’. An organisation can charge a ‘reasonable fee’ for multiple requests.
Note: This is early days in the workings of the new DPA. Expect that some organisations may try to avoid a SAR by using the exemption. If they refuse, contact us or the Information Commissioner.
Since court claims can take up to 30 weeks to work their way through the court's administration, the Subject Access Request allows you to gather the information you need in plenty of time for the Witness Statement stage too.
Under the DPA 1998, parking companies had 40 days from receipt of the written request. Under the DPA 2018 / GDPR, an organisation must respond to SARs within one month of receipt. This deadline can be extended by a further two months where there are a number of requests or the request is complex but the organisation must contact the individual within a month of receipt, explaining why the extension is necessary.
The organisation must verify the individual's identity prior to granting access to information. So expect there to be a request for information from you as to your identity such as a copy of a passport or driving licence. This does put some people off, but it is a necessary safeguard with the DPA 1998 and DPA 2018.
Is there a letter I can use?
Template Letters will be available on the Information Commissioner's website but in the meantime use this one.
[Your full address]
[Name and address of the organisation]
Dear Sir or Madam
Subject access request
Under the GDPR and the current Data Protection Act (DPA 2018), individuals have the right to obtain confirmation as to whether personal data is being processed. If my personal information is being processed, I am entitled to access the following information:
1. Confirm if you are processing my personal data and for what purpose;
2. Confirm any exemption(s) you are claiming;
3. A description of the personal data you have a copies of the same;
4. Details of who has has received or will receive my personal data; and
5. Details of the origin of their data if it was not collected from you.
Under the Data Protection Act 2018, you have one month to supply the above at no cost to myself. Please advise if you intend not to comply with the request or the timescales so that I can take further advice from the Information Commissioner's Office.
I have enclosed information on my identity to speed up the process.