Author Topic: Does data protection mean the dead stay dead?  (Read 473 times)

Offline Paulo Leeds

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Does data protection mean the dead stay dead?
« on: Thursday 03 January 19 18:30 GMT (UK) »
I am struggling to find anything on a deceased relative of mine and have been for months.

She died in Blackpool in 2011.

I tracked down the funeral home used and contacted them and got the following response:

"Many thanks for your enquiry unfortunately due to data protection we are unable to pass on any further information"

I replied with:

"So does data protection mean that this person is lost to history forever and kept secret within your computers and files?"

Is data protection the death of historical research in a lot ways?

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Offline CaroleW

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Re: Does data protection mean the dead stay dead?
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 03 January 19 18:41 GMT (UK) »
See this link

https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=805886.msg6646832#msg6646832

You don't say what info you were asking the undertaker for?

If you were asking for details of her address/relatives/who arranged the funeral etc - their reply was correct

Did she leave a will?  If so - you can buy a copy for 10

https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/#wills
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Offline aghadowey

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Re: Does data protection mean the dead stay dead?
« Reply #2 on: Friday 04 January 19 12:28 GMT (UK) »
A few years ago a distant relative died (only child, no living first cousins, etc.) and I wanted to contact person who made funeral arrangements (first cousin once removed of deceased) so I wrote a letter explaining who I was and what information I was looking for as well as offering to send them family details. I put my return address & stamp on the letter and brought it to the funeral home asking it to be forwarded.
Even better than I'd hoped for, the receptionist rang while I was there and I was able to speak on the phone. Turned out the person wasn't interested in family history and delegated clearing out the house (where 3 previous generations had lived) to an old friend of deceased's. The friend was lovely and delighted that I actually wanted old family photos as he hated the thought of throwing them out!
Please do NOT ask for lookups by Personal Message.

Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: Does data protection mean the dead stay dead?
« Reply #3 on: Friday 04 January 19 16:27 GMT (UK) »
I am struggling to find anything on a deceased relative of mine and have been for months.

She died in Blackpool in 2011.

I tracked down the funeral home used and contacted them and got the following response:

"Many thanks for your enquiry unfortunately due to data protection we are unable to pass on any further information"

I replied with:

"So does data protection mean that this person is lost to history forever and kept secret within your computers and files?"

Is data protection the death of historical research in a lot ways?

No it simple means the person who replied to you knew nothing about the Data Protection Act as it does not cover dead people as they are exempt.

However if reading what had not been written in your post that you were asking about details of the person who had arranged the funeral they were acting according to the letter of the law.
The best course of action in those circumstances is to send the funeral home a stamped letter containing a letter to the person who arranged the funeral explaining who you are and asking for more information and a stamped addressed envelope for their reply.
Most funeral homes etc. will forward your letter to those concerned.
Cheers
Guy
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Offline Paulo Leeds

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Re: Does data protection mean the dead stay dead?
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 05 January 19 11:21 GMT (UK) »
Thanks guys

great story aghadowey