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The OECD Data Protection Principles

The OECD Principles

Extract from 'Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy

and Transborder Flows of Personal Data' OECD, Paris, 1980

[The OECD frequently reorganises its web-site and breaks the links to the OECD Guidelines. This is a mirror intended to help people who are in a hurry and who can't find the OECD's copy ...]

Collection Limitation Principle

1. There should be limits to the collection of personal data and any such data should be obtained by lawful and fair means and, where appropriate, with the knowledge or consent of the data subject.

Data Quality Principle

2. Personal data should be relevant to the purposes for which they are to be used, and, to the extent necessary for those purposes, should be accurate, compete and kept up-to-date.

Purpose Specification Principle

3. The purposes for which personal data are collected should be specified not later than at the time of collection and the subsequent use limited to the fulfilment of those purposes or such others as are not incompatible with those purposes and as are specified on each occasion of change of purpose.

Use Limitation Principle

4. Personal data should not be disclosed, made available or otherwise used for purposes other than those specified in accordance with [Principle 3] except:

(a) with the consent of the data subject; or

(b) by the authority of law.

Security Safeguards Principle

5. Personal data should be protected by reasonable security safeguards against such risks as loss or unauthorised access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure of data.

Openness Principle

6. There should be a general policy of openness about developments, practices and policies with respect to personal data. Means should be readily available of establishing the existence and nature of personal data, and the main purposes of their use, as well as the identity and usual residence of the data controller.

Individual Participation Principle

7. An individual should have the right:-

(a) to obtain from the a data controller, or otherwise, confirmation of whether or not the data controller has data relating to him;

(b) to have communicated to him, data relating to him

(i) within a reasonable time;

(ii) at a charge, if any, that is not excessive;

(iii) in a reasonable manner; and

(iv) in a form that is readily intelligible to him;

(c) to be given reasons if a request made under sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) is denied, and to be able to challenge such denial; and

(d) to challenge data relating to him and, if the challenge is successful, to have the data erased, rectified, completed or amended.

Accountability Principle

8. A data controller should be accountable for complying with measures which give effect to the principles stated above.



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Created: 5 May 1996 - Last Amended: 5 May 1996 by Roger Clarke - Site Last Verified: 15 February 2009
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