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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I took an online test for a job and they have refused to

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I took an online test for a job and they have refused to provide me with the results. The test was provided by an external provider and they say that the exam results are not personal data. Is this correct? Does the UK Data Protection Act give me the right to ask and obtain the results?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. Have they said why they believe this is not personal data?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Because they say that the results of the test cannot be used for identifying me. I believe this is nonsense. My blood group, my nationality, the colour of my eyes and many other pieces of data cannot be used for identifying me either, but they do constitute part of my personal data.

Section 1(1) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) defines “personal data” as “data which relate to a living individual who can be identified -

(a) from those data, or

(b) from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller.

So whilst your blood group, eye colour, nationality etc on their own will not amount to personal data because you are unlikely to be identified just from them, taken together and assuming they have other data about you which when linked with this data can identify you, means that it would amount to personal data.

So in this case you have some test results, if your name appears on the test sheet then clearly you can be identified from this and it is personal data. If you had a candidate number then at first sight you will not be identifiable but if they are in possession of a candidate list which references candidate numbers to peoples’ names then that can also amount to personal data. So it really depends on what the information they hold about you is.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There are three actors in this situation: the company that wants to hire people, the recruitment agency and the test provider. The company set up a test for me and gave the recruitment agency a link and code for accessing the online test. I took the test and I'm pretty sure that my name was on it but I can't be 100% sure because I can't access the page again. I know that the test provider has my results and I'm sure that they can link those results to me. If not, the company hiring people does have the results and my name linked to it. I have asked the test provider not to delete my test results because I'm going to get ICO involved in this matter. Should I ask the test provider and the company for the results at the same time?

You may certainly do so, depending on who actually holds them. To be honest there is nothing to lose by asking them both and pursuing them both at the same time if you believe that they have these results.