Organisations and links

The Data Protection Society does not endorse any of the following links. They are provided as they may be of interest.


Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office

The ACPO Criminal Records Office (ACRO) organises the management of criminal record information and improves the links between criminal records and biometric information.

On the Website you will find details of the work ACRO conducts to help police forces throughout the United Kingdom.

You can access application forms for Police Certificates and International Child Protection Certificates, and find out how to make a Subject Access request. Links may be found for many UK police forces.


Big Brother Watch

This Site was created by the founders of the Tax Payers' Alliance. It fights intrusions on the privacy and liberties of ordinary Britons and plans to produce regular investigative research papers on the erosion of civil liberties in the UK, beginning with a detailed investigation of the ways in which individual local authorities have encroached upon the lives of the ordinary British citizen.


 Campaign Against Criminalising Communities

This Site campaigns to oppose all laws based on a pretext of counter-terrorism.


Consumer Action Group

This Site covers a variety of consumer issues mostly by way of forums which contain stories from people who have had issues with DVLA.



The legality of DVLA’s policy on the disclosure of personal data is questioned by many. The Website gives the DVLA’s view. Currently, data are disclosed under the Protection of Freedom Act and Regulation 27 of The Road Traffic Act but not both. The second link will take you to the Information Commissioner’s Website but the advice may also be out of date.


Electronic Privacy Information Centre

This is a site based in the United States. It provides information on various aspects of electronic surveillance such as body scanners and the retention of search data by search engines.


Financial Conduct Authority

The FCA was previously part of the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The other part of the FSA is now called the Prudential Regulation Authority.

The FCA regulates the financial services industry in the UK. Their aim is to protect consumers, ensure the industry remains stable and promote healthy competition between financial services providers.


Foundation for Information Policy Research

The Foundation studies the interaction between information technology and society.


 Gene Watch UK

GeneWatch UK is a not-for-profit group that monitors developments in genetic technologies from a public interest, human rights, environmental protection and animal welfare perspective. GeneWatch believes people should have a voice in whether or how these technologies are used and campaigns for safeguards for people, animals and the environment. They work on all aspects of genetic technologies - from GM crops and foods to genetic testing of humans.


General Medical Council

The GMC registers doctors to practise medicine in the UK. Its purpose is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine.

The law gives four main functions under the Medical Act 1983:

  • keeping up-to-date registers of qualified doctors
  • fostering good medical practice
  • promoting high standards of medical education and training
  • dealing firmly and fairly with doctors whose fitness to practise is in doubt.


Get Safe Online

Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of unbiased, factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety.

The website is a unique resource providing practical advice on how to protect yourself, your computers and mobiles device and your business against fraud, identity theft, viruses and many other problems encountered online. It contains guidance on many other related subjects too – including performing backups and how to avoid theft or loss of your computer, smartphone or tablet. Every conceivable topic is included on the site – including safe online shopping, gaming and dating … so now you really can stay safe with everything you do online.

The site also keeps you up to date with news, tips and stories from around the world.Get Safe Online is not only a website, however, as they also organise national events - such as Get Safe Online week. Get Safe Online is a jointly funded initiative between several Government departments and private sector businesses. They are the Government’s preferred online security advice channel.


Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS)

HM Courts & Tribunals Service was created on 1 April 2011 (April Fools’ Day!). It brings together HM Courts Service and the Tribunals Service into one integrated agency providing support for the administration of justice in courts and tribunals.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service is an agency of the Ministry of Justice. The Agency is responsible for the administration of the criminal, civil and family courts and tribunals in England and Wales and non-devolved tribunals in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It provides for a fair, efficient and effective justice system delivered by an independent judiciary.

From April 2011 the agency employed 21,000 staff operating from around 650 locations. It has a gross annual budget of around £1.7bn, approximately £585m of which is recovered in fees and income from service users. It handles over 2 million criminal cases, 1.8 million civil claims, more than 150,000 family law disputes and almost 800,000 tribunal cases annually.

If you need to take a case to court, you will use forms HMCTS provides.

The first link is the official site of HMCTS. The second link is an alternative site (NOT the official site) and if you are easily offended then do not click on this link. We have included the Site because it does contain some useful information on the activities of HMCS.


HM Revenue & Customs

The Inland Revenue and Value Added Tax (VAT) are now handled by HMRC. The link below provides information on how you can obtain your personal data and what safeguards HMRC take. Note that sometimes exclusions are claimed which do not apply denying you access. Always check the wording of the exemption, don’t just accept it, and complain to the Information Commissioner if you are not sure.


Lex Talionis

Provides practical help beyond what can be offered by the Information Commissioner for those wishing to use the Data Protection Act to obtain their personal data and the rectification of inaccurate personal data. Shows data subjects how to retaliate against authorities, particularly government institutions, which they feel have wronged them. It describes the ways in which these organisations try to avoid their responsibilities and how to respond.



Liberty is also known as the National Council for Civil Liberties. Founded in 1934, it is a cross party, non-party membership organisation at the heart of the movement for fundamental rights and freedoms in England and Wales. Liberty seeks to protect civil liberties and promote human rights for everyone.



Your medical records are no longer confidential. Unless you take action, identifiable information will be uploaded from your GP-held record to central systems from where it may be passed on to others including commissioning bodies, researchers and private companies.



Mind is the mental health charity. They make sure anyone with a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for advice and support


Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice is one of the largest government departments, employing around 76,000 people (including those in the Probation Service), with a budget of approximately £9 billion. The work spans criminal, civil and family justice, democracy and rights.

The Ministry of Justice works to protect the public and reduce reoffending, and to provide a more effective, transparent and responsive criminal justice system for victims and the public. Also provides fair and simple routes to civil and family justice.

The Ministry of Justice has responsibility for different parts of the justice system – the courts, prisons, probation services and attendance centres. It works in partnership with other government departments and agencies to reform the criminal justice system, to serve the public and support the victims of crime.

It is also responsible for making new laws, strengthening democracy, and safeguarding human rights.


National Health Service (NHS)

The links below provides details of how medical records may be obtained. If you want to view your health records, you may not need to make a formal application. Nothing in the law prevents healthcare professionals from informally showing you your own records. You can make an informal request during a consultation, or by phoning your GP surgery or hospital to arrange a time to see your records.



A single-issue group focussed on the threat to liberty and privacy posed by the rapid growth of the database state, of which, ‘ID cards’ are the most visible part. As the ID scheme has now been abandoned, No2ID has become part of Big Brother Watch.


Office of the Information Commissioner

The OIC is the official body responsible for the Data Protection Act 1998 and other legislation. It will provide advice over the phone, on the Web or by letter. The second link will take you to the page concerning social networks. The third link contains valuable information on social services and expert opinion.


Office of Surveillance Commissioners

The aim of the Office of Surveillance Commissioners (OSC) is to provide effective and efficient oversight of the conduct of covert surveillance and covert human intelligence sources by public authorities in accordance with:

Part III of the 1997 Police Act

  • Parts II and III of Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA)
  • Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000 (RIP[S]A).

Their Website is primarily designed to be used by those who authorise and conduct covert surveillance operations and use covert human intelligence sources (as informants and undercover officers are now known). It shows how to carry out these activities in compliance with the powers granted by Parliament, and how the OSC monitors the exercise of those powers. By way of practical help, they have identified some key points, some sources of advice, and some examples of good and bad practice. It is not concerned with telephone intercepts. It may also be useful for the public.

For more information, contact:

The Rt Hon Sir Christopher Rose
Chief Surveillance Commissioner
Office of Surveillance Commissioners
PO Box 29105,
London, SW1V 1ZU
Tel: 020 7828 3421
Fax: 020 7592 1788


Open Rights Group

The Open Rights Group exists to preserve and promote people’s rights in the digital age.


Parents against Injustice


Parking Cowboys

This Site is primarily concerned with parking tickets issued by private companies. The first thing to learn is that they’re not fines, they have no right to fine you. And that is one of the reasons this site was set up – to help the motorist understand this and fight back.



To reveal to the ordinary UK motorist, clearly and concisely, how the government, police and judicial system deal with allegations of motoring offences in real life, and to provide the information motorists need to defend themselves.

PePiPoo does not condone breaking the law. They simply believe that motorists have the right to be treated fairly, in accordance with normal legal principles and with respect for their rights, and that allegations of motoring offences, such as speeding, should not be treated simply as an administrative issue leading efficiently and inevitably to a conviction.


Police State UK

Is intended as an information source for people who are concerned about the direction politics and policing have taken in the UK.


Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)

The software PGP may be purchased form Symantec Corporation.


Privacy International

Privacy International (PI) is a human rights group formed in 1990 as a watchdog on surveillance and privacy invasions by governments and corporations. PI is based in London, England, and has an office in Washington, D.C.


Privacy Rights Clearing House

This Site is based in San Diego and covers US issues. However, some are relevant to the UK.


Prudential Regulation Authority

The PRA was previously part of the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The other part of the FSA is now called the Financial Conduct Authority.

The PRA is a part of the Bank of England and responsible for the prudential regulation and supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms. It sets standards and supervises financial institutions at the level of the individual firm.



This Site monitors the state and civil liberties in Europe.


Tax Payers Alliance

This organisation campaigns for lower taxes, a simpler system and the more efficient use of taxes.


Teach Today

Teachtoday provides information and advice for teachers, head teachers, governors and other members of the school workforce about the positive, responsible and safe use of new technologies. Please note this site has changed and you have to click on your language.


The Bar Council

The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes the Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services, fair access to justice for all, the highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and the development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.

Many barristers now accept direct instruction from members of the public or companies without requiring instruction from a solicitor. The Public Access Directory provides details of all barristers who undertake work in this manner.


The Big Opt Out

The Big Opt Out gives the data subject a chance to stop their personal medical records being uploaded on to the new GPES database.


The Freedom Association

The Freedom Association was founded on 31 July 1975 by Viscount De L'Isle VC, KG, PC, GCMG, GCVO, Ross McWhirter & Norris McWhirter CBE.

The Freedom Association believes that a free society can only be properly maintained if there is an understanding of the economic, constitutional and moral principles that alone can sustain that society.


The Manifesto Club

The Club campaigns against the hyper-regulation of everyday life. Supports free movement across borders, free expression and free association. Challenges booze bans, photo bans, vetting and speech codes - all new ways in which the state regulates everyday life on the streets, in workplaces and in our private lives.


The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority

The SRA regulates more than 120,000 solicitors in England and Wales. Its purpose is to protect the public by ensuring that solicitors meet high standards and by acting when risks are identified.

The solicitors' profession includes single-solicitor practices and huge firms with a global presence and thousands of lawyers. Solicitors also work in the justice system, in government and within companies. All solicitors follow the same professional principles and code of conduct. The SRA provides advice to help them do so.

Established in January 2007, the SRA was previously called the Law Society Regulation Board. It changed its name to emphasise its independence and to make what they do clearer. The SRA is the independent regulatory body of the Law Society of England and Wales.

Complaints can take a year or more to resolve and you will not be informed of progress.


This is Money

As many as eight million parking tickets are issued annually in the UK. Only a fraction of these are contested but there is strong evidence many more drivers could beat their fine.

Of the millions of Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) issued each year, only a few thousand are appealed by drivers. This is despite the fact that as many as 65 per cent of appeals are upheld and the fines are then withdrawn.

Many appeals are not even contested by local councils. Sometimes councils will not contest appeals purely on the grounds that they want to clear a backlog.

All this means that, more often than not, drivers are beating the traffic wardens when they appeal.


Unofficial Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs

This is an unofficial Site. If you are easily offended then DO NOT click on this link.

This is an alternative Site to the official HMRC Site which provides information and case studies of procedures and errors of HMRC. It is dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of the HMRC, who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

This site (established in 2006) is a living monument to the incompetence and arrogance of ex Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who set up HMRC.

It will be interesting to see if the "coalition" is able/willing to improve matters.

Please send in your horror stories (whether you are a taxpayer or employee) about your experiences of the HMRC to Ken Frost.


Vexatious Requests under the FOI


Volunteering England

Effective safeguarding goes far wider than the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (formerly 'CRB checks') and involves how you recruit, induct, train and support volunteers. Effective safeguarding is also about striking the right balance, so that vulnerable people are protected, but that equally, organisations do not become overly risk averse.



Publishes and comments on leaked documents alleging government and corporate misconduct.