2. PURPOSE OF THE DOCUMENT
With the move to a greater use of electronic communication in the planning system and greater publication it is important that authorities ensure that personal information is processed in strict compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Therefore it is important that there is an increased awareness amongst planning authorities of the importance of complying with the Data Protection Act 1998 4 when publishing information online and this guidance is intended to assist planning authorities in that process. This guidance applies to the Scottish Government's Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals and may also provide advice to Planning Authorities on making information available online through their Online Planning Information Systems.
The Information Commissioner's Office ( ICO) provides general advice on the processing of personal information and how to comply with the Data Protection Act. This guidance has been prepared in collaboration with the ICO to accord with the Data Protection Act 1998, the relevant Planning Legislation and should also be used in conjunction with guidance already issued by the ICO.
By following this guidance note, Planning Authorities should have the confidence that they are making every effort to comply with the Data Protection Act when making information publicly available via the internet.