Responding to a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR)

Responding to a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR) and uncertain about the best approach?

CYFOR Legal have a cost-effective, end-to-end solution that can complete a Data Subject Access Request within an agreed time-frame.

Increased usage of electronic devices has seen a significant rise in the amount of personal data generated. With the introduction of regulations such as the GDPR, individuals are now more aware of their rights and control how their data is processed and distributed.

A Data Subject Access Request (DSAR) is typically made by an individual wanting to exercise the right to be provided with a copy of the information an organisation holds about them. They are entitled to this information under section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998. This data can include confirmation that their personal data is being processed; a copy of the personal data in the company’s possession; and the purposes for which it is being processed.

Responding to a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR)

Firstly, ensure the DSAR request is valid. A valid request is one which provides all the information required to locate the information the person wants, as well as sufficient information to verify the data subject’s identity. It is unlikely that the first contact from the data subject will provide all the relevant information, in which case you must respond to the data subject. You have a period of 30 days to provide the information requested once all necessary information has been received. Failure to comply results in a significant fine, issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

What data should be provided?

There may be a mix of data that qualifies as personally identifiable data relating to other people and information that is not personally identifiable whatsoever. Separate documents within an overall file must be considered on their own merits. The output of the investigation must be provided to the individual in an intelligible format. In most cases, this information must be communicated to the requester by supplying them with a physical copy of the data, such as a photocopy or printout of the relevant information.


Not all personal information may be liable for disclosure. Once you have collated the information you hold about a data subject you must assess it in order to establish whether it is disclosable. You should only disclose information relating to the person making the DSAR. Where a document contains personal data about several individuals, including the data subject, you should redact the information attributed to the third parties.

How CYFOR Legal can assist

As leading eDiscovery experts, CYFOR Legal has the necessary expertise to assist with a Data Subject Access Request. Our team of specialists are experts in forensic data acquisition and the use of advanced online review platforms. These are specifically designed to search, filter and process large volumes of data, identifying the information you require in a time and cost-effective manner.

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