Data Protection requests

Subject Access Requests

Data protection legislation allows you, the data subject, to gain access to any of your personal information which is held by the council.  You can request copies of your information by contacting us directly.  When we receive your request, we will ask for a copy of your ID to check that we are sending your personal data to the right person.  We may ask for one of the following forms of photo ID and proof of address:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • tenancy agreement

Once your identity has been verified, we will begin to process your request and locate your data.  We have one calendar month (around 30 calendar days) to respond to your request.

We may write to you to request additional information to help us locate your information.  For example, if you ask for all of the information the council holds on you, we may ask you which departments you have dealt with such as the housing or benefits team.  If you do not provide further information, we may not be able to provide a full response within the one calendar month deadline.  

Once you receive your information, you may find that certain data has been redacted or removed.  When we are processing your request, we may need to remove (redact) data if :

  • the data is about someone else
  • a professional thinks that if the data is released, it will cause serious harm to your or someone else’s physical or mental wellbeing
  • if we think that giving you the information may stop us from preventing or detecting a crime

If we have removed any of the data, we will tell you why. In addition, we will also tell you:

  • where we received your data from
  • why we are processing your data
  • the retention period
  • the categories of data we are processing

Normally, we will not share your data with any other person.  However, in some situations, you may want for someone else to make a subject access request on your behalf.  When we receive the request, we will need to see evidence that you have given permission for them to do this. This can be done by a signed letter attached to the request.  If we are concerned, we may contact you to check that you are happy for the release or we may refuse the request in full.

To make a subject access request, please email or write to:

Access to Information Team
2nd floor Hub 1
PO Box 64529
London  SE1P 5LX

If you would like to make your request in another way, please contact the Access to Information team on 0207 525 5000.

If you are unhappy with the response the council has provided you, you can ask for the decision to be reviewed.  A senior officer will look at the documents that you have been sent and check if all information that you are entitled to has been provided.  You also have the right to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if you are unhappy with how the council has handled your request.  To contact the ICO, please visit

Sharing information

Sometimes the council is required to share data with third parties. These can include but are not limited to:

  • the police
  • other local authorities
  • central government departments

Where we can, we will tell you in advance if your data will be shared with any third parties.  You will be informed in most cases when your data is collected.  However, when we are required to share your data for the purposes of crime, taxation or by another law, you will not be informed.

If you are making a request under Schedule 2, Part 1of the Data Protection Act 2018, please use the Southwark Disclosure form (docx, 24kb).  Please do not use this form to ask for information about yourself.

Page last updated: 25 May 2018