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Data Protection Act, 1988

Enforcement of data protection.

10.(1) (a) The Commissioner may investigate, or cause to be investigated, whether any of the provisions of this Act have been, are being or are likely to be contravened by a data controller or a data processor in relation to an individual either where the individual complains to him of a contravention of any of those provisions or he is otherwise of opinion that there may be such a contravention.

(b) Where a complaint is made to the Commissioner under paragraph (a) of this subsection, the Commissioner shall—

(i) investigate the complaint or cause it to be investigated, unless he is of opinion that it is frivolous or vexatious, and

(ii) as soon as may be, notify the individual concerned in writing of his decision in relation to the complaint and that the individual may, if aggrieved by his decision, appeal against it to the Court under section 26 of this Act within 21 days from the receipt by him of the notification.

(2) If the Commissioner is of opinion that a person, being a data controller or a data processor, has contravened or is contravening a provision of this Act (other than a provision the contravention of which is an offence), the Commissioner may, by notice in writing (referred to in this Act as an enforcement notice) served on the person, require him to take such steps as are specified in the notice within such time as may be so specified to comply with the provision concerned.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2) of this section, if the Commissioner is of opinion that a data controller has contravened section 2 (1) of this Act, the relevant enforcement notice may require him—

(a) to rectify or erase any of the data concerned, or

(b) to supplement the data with such statement relating to the matters dealt with by them as the Commissioner may approve of; and as respects data that are inaccurate or not kept up to date, if he supplements them as aforesaid, he shall be deemed not to be in contravention of paragraph (b) of the said section 2 (1).

(4) An enforcement notice shall—

(a) specify any provision of this Act that, in the opinion of the Commissioner, has been or is being contravened and the reasons for his having formed that opinion, and

(b) subject to subsection (6) of this section, state that the person concerned may appeal to the Court under section 26 of this Act against the requirement specified in the notice within 21 days from the service of the notice on him.

(5) Subject to subsection (6) of this section, the time specified in an enforcement notice for compliance with a requirement specified therein shall not be expressed to expire before the end of the period of 21 days specified in subsection (4) (b) of this section and, if an appeal is brought against the requirement, the requirement need not be complied with and subsection (9) of this section shall not apply in relation thereto, pending the determination or withdrawal of the appeal.

(6) If the Commissioner—

(a) by reason of special circumstances, is of opinion that a requirement specified in an enforcement notice should be complied with urgently, and

(b) includes a statement to that effect in the notice,

subsections (4) (b) and (5) of this section shall not apply in relation to the notice, but the notice shall contain a statement of the effect of the provisions of section 26 (other than subsection (3)) of this Act and shall not require compliance with the requirement before the end of the period of 7 days beginning on the date on which the notice is served.

(7) On compliance by a data controller with a requirement under subsection (3) of this section, he shall, as soon as may be and in any event not more than 40 days after such compliance, notify—

(a) the data subject concerned, and

(b) if such compliance materially modifies the data concerned, any person to whom the data were disclosed during the period beginning 12 months before the date of the service of the enforcement notice concerned and ending immediately before such compliance,

of the rectification, erasure or statement concerned.

(8) The Commissioner may cancel an enforcement notice and, if he does so, shall notify in writing the person on whom it was served accordingly.

(9) A person who, without reasonable excuse, fails or refuses to comply with a requirement specified in an enforcement notice shall be guilty of an offence.