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Interaction between the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

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The Data Protection Act (DPA) and Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA) are both concerned with information but they have different and at times conflicting purposes. The DPA protects individuals' rights to privacy and fair processing of their personal data, whilst FOISA provides people with rights of access to the information held by public sector bodies. The DPA and FOISA therefore operate alongside each other but their interaction could be potentially complex.  This guidance note provides a comparison between the scope of the two acts, and an introduction to their interaction.

Download the Interaction between DPA and FOISA Guidance Note


Further information on the interaction between the Data Proctection Act and Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act, and with other legislation, can be found in the Data Protection Code of Practice.


For further information and guidance on the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act, please see Governance Services' Freedom of Information site.