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BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 19 September 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:S3a-7161

The 1998 Data Protection Act corrects the anomalous situation in which individuals have rights of access to personal computerised records held about them, but not to those held on paper (IDS Brief August 1998;619:7-12). However, it specifically exempts confidential references given for educational or employment purposes, which seems a pity: if you can't say it face to face why say it at all?

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