Welcome to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) pages for young people – aimed at helping you protect your personal information.
Your personal information
You probably give out some of your personal information every day, whether it be your name, address or date of birth. Your personal information is valuable, so it should be looked after just like any other valuable item.
Looking after your information will help prevent it from falling into the wrong hands, and it will also help you reduce the chances of receiving spam or other unwanted marketing. You also need to know that information held about you is correct. If it’s not, it could cause problems.
For example, you may be refused a job, benefits or credit, or even a place at the college or university you want to get in to. In extreme cases, you could even become a victim of identity theft (that’s when someone pretends to be you, and might try to do things like getting money out of your bank account, or signing up to things in your name) or be arrested for a crime you didn’t commit.
The Data Protection Act
The Data Protection Act gives you the right to know what information is held about you and sets out rules to make sure this information is handled properly.
Among its other responsibilities, the Information Commissioner’s Office enforces and oversees the Data Protection Act, so if you have a complaint that relates to data protection, we may be able to investigate and take action on your behalf.
We have developed this site to make you more aware of your information rights. We hope that the issues covered in the sections in this site also give you more understanding of how the Data Protection Act relates to the most common aspects of everyday life.
When you’ve had a look around, please tell us what you think of the site. If there are particular issues you think we should cover, or any guidance on the site that you think could be more helpful, email your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.