4. Sensitive Data

The Act mentions specific things which it deems to be sensitive or personal to an individual. If a company was to collect this data, it cannot be disclosed or told to anyone else.

Some things which are classed as Sensitive Personal Data are:

  • racial or ethnic origin
  • membership of a trade union
  • criminal convictions or offences
  • political opinions
  • religious beliefs

In terms of what it means in practice, the Data Protection Act includes the following

  • Your beliefs (e.g. religion)
  • Your health (e.g. medical records)
  • Your money (e.g. bank balance)
  • Your education (e.g. exam results)
  • Your behaviour (e.g. speeding fine)
  • Your Work (e.g. employment records)

Under some circumstances, it may be necessary to collect this information.

For example, a Catholic school who only employs Catholics, might wish to know the religious beliefs of new teachers. The police force will need to know if new recruits have any previous criminal convictions.


Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Sensitive Data