West Berkshire Council

Data Protection: Asking on Behalf of Others

Making a request on behalf of children, or as someone's carer

Data is valuable and the council has a duty to protect it. Generally, the rights someone has to ask for data about another person (where they are the "data subject") are limited by law. 

Making an application

You won't always be entitled to information about someone else, but there are a few circumstances where requests for other people's data might be considered. Some of these are explained below.

The easiest way to ask for data to be provided is to use the online request form, but you can also send an email using the details at the foot of this page.

Accessing children's records

If you're the parent of a child of school age, there's some information about your child which you have a legal right to see. 

Access to your child's educational records are covered by other legislation, and you may ask for copies (for which you may be charged a photocopying charge) directly from your child's school.

A child under the age of eighteen is not automatically assumed to be unable to make decisions for themselves about their personal information. This means that a parent can ask for access to their child's personal information (in other words, by acting as an agent for their child), but if the child is able to understand the nature of the request and their rights, then they should give their permission as well.
If your child doesn't live with you, or legal restrictions on access are in place, we will need to establish your right to act as an agent on their behalf.
Children may also make requests on their own behalf - these don't have to be in writing.
If this is the case, a member of staff will talk through what they can see and answer any questions they may have.

Access for carers

If you're a carer for a vulnerable adult, for instance someone who is a relative, friend, or someone you work for in a caring capacity, you may need to ask questions about their care and have access to information that would normally not be available.

You may act as an agent for the person with their permission, or you may have an official "power of attorney" to act on their behalf.
If the person cannot give their permission, and/or you have no power of attorney, we can discuss with you what information you need and why; special provisions within law may allow us to share information if doing so will help protect the person's interests.

Access through a solicitor

You may also make a request through a solicitor.  If this is the case the solicitor will usually provide a formal statement or form for you to sign which they can then copy to us. You don't need to use a solicitor to access your own personal information, but where the solicitor is collecting information about someone else (for example related to a court case) this option will be available. 

Access to detect or prevent crime

The police and other official organisations (such as other local authorities or government departments) can be provided with personal data if they are able to provide evidence of how the data would prevent or detect crime, would be in the interests of safeguarding children or vulnerable adults, or would be used in the interests of national security. These organisations need to be able to explain how the data will help them in order for the request to be considered - the council does not have to agree to provide data if it judges the reasons for the request aren't persuasive enough.

If you're acting on behalf of another council, a government organisation or in an official capacity as a law enforcement officer, then you should contact the email address at the foot of the page with your request, providing sufficient explanation of the purposes for which you need the data. 

This should, in the case of the police, use a standard form countersigned by a senior officer.

Who To Contact

West Berkshire Council's Data Protection Team

01635 519591