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What is the Right to Access?

If you’re responding to a data request, please read this article

You have the right to ask an organization whether or not they are using or storing your personal information. You can also ask them for copies of your personal information, verbally or in writing.

This is called the right of access and is commonly known as making a data subject access request or DSAR.

According to the GDPR “A data subject should have the right of access to personal data which have been collected concerning him or her, and to exercise that right easily and at reasonable intervals, in order to be aware of, and verify, the lawfulness of the processing.”

According to the CCPA “[…] It is the intent of the Legislature to further Californians’ right to privacy by giving consumers an effective way to control their personal information, by ensuring the following rights: […] (4) The right of Californians to access their personal information.”

To exercise your Right to Access

You can make a subject access request to find out:

  • what personal information an organization holds about you;
  • how they are using it;
  • who they are sharing it with; and
  • where they got your data from.

This information can also help you exercise your other information rights effectively.

Your right of access does not entitle you to receive full copies of original documents held by an organization – only your personal information contained in the document.

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