The EU data protection law, GDPR, gives the users the right to access their data to determine what kind of data an organization holds on them by applying for a subject data access request or subject access request (SAR).
The user even has the right to data deletion requests, and it’s the responsibility of the company to execute their request on time. Otherwise, a company may face serious legal charges and penalties, which can tarnish its industry reputation.
If you are wondering how to make a data subject access request and what you should consider while doing this, read this article below!
Reasons for a Data Subject Access Request
As it is your data that the company holds, you can make a subject access request based on the following reasons:
- Who is the company sharing your data with?
- What was the source of data?
- How does the company use your data?
- What kind of data does it store related to you?
Making a Subject Access Request
Now, it’s essential to note that there is no set format to follow when writing a subject access request. Ensure that you provide all the relevant information to the correct department of the company. For instance, your best bet would be to look up the company’s data protection officer by a simple Google search.
While writing your request, you should ensure the following:
- Use “subject access request” in the subject line of your request letter or email.
- Provide clear and direct information to differentiate you from others who may have the same name as yours, such as your full name, address, phone number, customer account number, etc.
- Clarify whether you want to receive the requested information via email or a printout.
- Create a detailed list of what kind of data you want from the organization.
- Provide relevant and specific details for your subject access request to help the company find and send you the correct info.
- Don’t use offensive language and don’t include a customer service complaint, as it’s irrelevant and not the right platform to do so.
Can a Subject Access Request Be Made Verbally?
Of course. You can make either written or verbal subject access requests. However, it’s always better to opt for a written request. This way, you will have a solid “proof” or record that you requested the company, in case they don’t reply within a month or the data provided doesn’t match your request.
Is There a Fee for Data Subject Access Request?
Usually, data subject access requests are free of charge, and you don’t need to pay a fee for it at all. However, the company may only charge you a “reasonable fee” if your request is excessive or manifestly unfounded.
Should You Keep a Record of Your Subject Access Request?
It’s imperative for you to keep a record of your subject access request, so you can follow up on your request or file a complaint about not receiving the relevant data or anything at all later.
That’s why it’s better to submit a written request. This way, you will have a postal reference number if you send it via a courier. You can also keep a copy of your request documents. In case you are submitting the request online, you should take screenshots.