Access to your own data

You should have the right to access your own personal data, whether it is held by public institutions, private entities or individuals, except in situations where other important interests have to be safeguarded.

In principle, you should have no obstacles in accessing your own private information where it is held by public institutions or private entities such as companies and organisations (data controllers). Furthermore, the granting of access should not be delayed. 

Exceptions

However, in exceptional cases provided by law and where it is necessary to protect other important interests, the institution may partly or fully refuse to provide you with access to the requested information. These important interests (aims) may be, for instance:

  • the prevention of disorder or crime
  • national security
  • public order
  • the fight against terrorism
  • the rights and interests of other persons

example Your wish to know the type of information the police have collected on you may conflict with the state’s interests in ensuring the confidentiality of an investigation. Therefore, the particular state institution or private entity may refuse you access to data classified as confidential, to protect state security or the interests of an investigation. 

Right to copy your data

If an institution has granted you access to your data files, you should also have the right to make copies of these files. 

note You should be provided with copies of your processed personal data free of charge, unless your request is manifestly unfounded or excessive.

This right can only be restricted in exceptional cases when the institution has provided specific and compelling reasons for not allowing you to make copies.

example You will not be allowed to obtain copies of your personal data files if it might adversely affect the rights and freedoms of other persons.

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