Crime and taxation exemptions under the DPA 1998 [Archived]
Produced in partnership with Heledd Lloyd-Jones of Bird and Bird
Crime and taxation exemptions under the DPA 1998 [Archived]

The following Information Law guidance note Produced in partnership with Heledd Lloyd-Jones of Bird and Bird provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Crime and taxation exemptions under the DPA 1998 [Archived]
  • Scope of the section 29 crime and taxation exemption
  • Data protection principles and the section 29 crime and taxation exemption
  • Rights of data subjects the section 29 crime and taxation exemption
  • When is a data controller permitted to withhold information from a data subject?
  • Using the exemption to withhold information from individuals
  • Disclosures under DPA 1998, s 29(3)
  • Responding to third party requests for disclosure
  • EU data protection reform

ARCHIVED: This archived Practice Note provides information on the data protection regime before 25 May 2018 and reflects the position under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998). This Practice Note is for background information only and is not maintained.

This Practice Note considers the exemptions afforded by section 29 of the DPA 1998. These exemptions may be applied in specified circumstances where complying with obligations that are ordinarily imposed by the DPA 1998 would be likely to prejudice the purposes of the prevention or detection of crime, the apprehension or prosecution of offenders, or the assessment or collection of tax or duties (referred to in this Practice Note as 'the crime and taxation purposes').

For more information on other exemptions, see Practice Notes:

  1. Exemptions to the DPA 1998

  2. Data protection—notice obligation exemptions

  3. Subject access exemptions under the DPA 1998

  4. Non-disclosure exemptions under the DPA 1998

  5. Applying exemptions under the DPA 1998—reference table

For a comprehensive introduction to the GDPR, collating key practical guidance, see: GDPR toolkit.

Scope of the section 29 crime and taxation exemption

DPA 1998, s 29 makes provision for four distinct exemptions. Section 29(3) applies to disclosures of personal data by data controllers to third parties for any of the crime and taxation purposes. In contrast, sections 29(1), 29(2) and 29(4) apply to the supply of information to