Monday, 23 April 2012

Dogs and the data protection principles

In the final run up to my ISEB exam on data protection, I am finding it hard to concentrate fully on work-related matters. Other friends of mine are busy revising for exams run by the International Association of Privacy Professionals, which will also be held on Friday. So, I suspect that quite a few of us are more than usually concerned at data protection-type issues this week.

My mind is running wild, and, as a revision exercise, I’m constantly linking everything I do with the obligations in the Data Protection Act. I’m asking myself what Data Protection Principles are particularly relevant, and whether and how any of the Act’s exemptions might apply. Sad. But can it be helped?

Last night, for example, a friend came over for dinner – with her dog. So, naturally, my thoughts turned to how the Data Protection Act might be applied to dogs. This is what I came up with:


1. Dogs shall be treated fairly and lawfully and, in particular, shall not be handled unless-
a. at least one of the conditions in Schedule 2 is met, and
b. in the case of the handler’s children, at least one of the conditions in Schedule 3 is also met.

2. Dogs shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further treated in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes. (They are not just for Christmas).

3. Dog food shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which dogs are handled.

4. Microchips shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.

5. Fur and claws shall not be kept any longer than is necessary.

6. About the rights of dogs e.g. They have the right to have fleas about them removed.

7. Appropriate collars, leads and muzzles shall be used to prevent unauthorised or unlawful biting and prevent accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, other dogs or handlers.

8. Dogs shall not be transferred to a place outside their familiar area or territory unless that area or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of dogs in relation to their welfare.

Wishing all fellow data protection candidates the very best of luck as they sit their exams on Friday!

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