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Writen by Adam

Posted on: December 13, 2021

Subject Access Request (SAR) Empathy

There are many definitions of empathy but the Wikipedia definition is, ‘the capacity to understand or feel what another person is feeling from within their terms of reference’. This is a little deep for a Monday but I think this is a very important consideration when you reply to any sort of GDPR SAR or complaint.

When you draft your reply, try to think about why the person sent the SAR and respond accordingly, using appropriate style and language. We see a lot of SARs are most are from people who are unhappy about something and not just looking for information about how their data is being processed. They may be disgruntled ex-employees, customers with service issues, candidates that didn’t get the job, or people that just don’t remember contacting you – your reply should address their issue but also consider their feelings and their personal situation.

You must always comply with Article 15 requirements and make sure you meet your GDPR obligations but considering who the data subject is and why they sent the report might just help you respond in the most appropriate way, defuse the situation and avoid any escalation. Take your time when you draft the response – don’t rush – a few extra minutes drafting a good first reply might just save you a huge amount of time later.

Have a great week all.

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