Limiting the use of your personal data

There are ways of limiting the use of your personal data which may be held lawfully by many and varied organisations. For instance, banks and financial institutions holding your personal finance information; online shopping sites containing your stored persona information; medical records held by doctors, pharmacies or any other kind of medical practice; personal information collected by educational organisations; and many other services.

Also, with your consent, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter hold your personal identification data. Web searches may track your interests and target advertising tailored to your profile.

You can limit the way in which your personal data is used by:

  • changing privacy settings on search engines. For instance the search engine Duck Duck Go has a default privacy option that does not track your search activity as opposed to Google, where the default is tracking
  • changing privacy settings on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter
  • withholding consent on webpages in the use of cookies tracking your activity
  • withholding consent to sending information and promotional offers
  • denying permission to share data with partner organisations
  • blocking marketing phone calls through registration with the Telephone Preference Services
  • requesting data held on you by organisations (SAR request) and asking for it to be erased
  • requesting that old or inaccurate information about you be erased from search engines or individual media sites.

In certain circumstances, your data may be held and shared lawfully without your explicit consent. For example, in a medical emergency your confidential medical data may be shared with a hospital. Read more about what you should do if you have suffered a medical data breach here. Get in touch with our team if you need further advice on limiting the use of your data.