The UK Data Protection Act is a large Act that has a reputation for complexity.  While the basic principles are honoured for protecting privacy, interpreting the act is not always simple. Many companies, organisations and individuals seem very unsure of the aims, content and principles of the Act. Some hide behind the Act and refuse to provide even very basic, publicly available material quoting the Act as a restriction.  The Act also impacts on the way in which organisations conduct business in terms of who can be contacted for marketing purposes, not only by telephone and direct mail but also electronically and has led to the development of permission based marketing strategies.