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Data Protection

The University of St Andrews is legally obliged to comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act). The University is registered under the Act, and the registration number is Z5909128.  The registration is renewed annually and is currently valid until 18 October 2018.

The following notes are for the guidance of staff in the University as to these obligations. This guidance can only be general, however - if you need advice on a specific issue please contact the University's Data Protection Co-ordinator (telephone +44 (0)1334 464010/462776 or email

Please note also that this site may be updated at intervals.

Data Protection Policy

The University's Data Protection Policy (PDF, 33 KB) may be found online.

Freedom of Information

Information about the interaction between Freedom of Information and Data Protection may be found here. Data Protection and Freedom of Information (PDF, 28 KB)

The Data Protection Act 1998 came into full force on 1 March 2000. It considerably extends the provisions of the 1984 act. In particular:

  • The new Act covers not only computerised data, but also manual records held in "relevant filing systems" (systems which allow for ordered retrieval, including card indexes).
  • The definition of "data processing" has been broadened to include collection, recording, retrieval, consultation, use and disclosure of data.
  • Certain types of data are now deemed "sensitive" and the requirements for processing such data are more stringent.
  • New conditions affect transfer of data to countries outside the European Economic Area - publishing on the World Wide Web falls into this 'data transfer' category.

It is important when considering the Data Protection Act to bear in mind that its purpose is not simply to protect the data itself, but to provide protection to the individual to whom the data relates.

Further information

Any member of staff requiring further information should contact:

Data Protection Co-ordinator
IT Services, Butts Wynd Building, St Andrews, KY16 9AL

Tel: +44 (0)1334 464010 or 462776