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Subject Access Request (SAR) Refusal letter

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If certain exemptions apply, and the organisation is unable to fulfill the SAR in full, this template outlines the reasons for refusal and provides information on how the individual can appeal the decision.

Reading time
How long to understand and implement this letter?
5 mins
Word count
How many words in this letter?
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What is a Subject Access Request (SAR) Refusal letter?

The purpose of this Subject Access Request (SAR) Refusal letter is to provide you with a flexible and customisable document to serve as a robust and effective starting point for you.

By using our Subject Access Request (SAR) Refusal letter, you can streamline your process, maintain consistency and accuracy, and save time, and it can be easily adapted to fit your specific scenario.

Issued by who, to whom
Who should issue this letter, and to whom?
The Employer (you) to the Employee
Applicable legal jurisdiction
In which jurisdiction can this letter be used?
Great Britain & NI (United Kingdom)

Subject Access Request (SAR) Refusal [Delete this line]

[Company name]

[Sender address]



[Recipient name]

[Recipient address]


Dear [Recipient first name],

I am writing to respond to your recent Subject Access Request (SAR) dated [Date]. We have carefully reviewed your request and regret to inform you that we are unable to fulfill it in its entirety for the following reasons:

[Explain the reasons for refusal, which may include but are not limited to]:

  • Your request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, and it would require disproportionate effort to respond.

  • The requested information is subject to legal privilege or falls under an exemption under data protection laws.

  • Providing access to the requested information would adversely affect the rights and freedoms of others.

  • We are unable to verify your identity to a reasonable degree of certainty.

Please note that while we are unable to fulfill your request in full, we are committed to complying with our obligations under data protection laws. If you have any concerns or wish to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at [Your Contact Information].

Additionally, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) if you believe that your data protection rights have been infringed. You can find more information about the ICO and how to file a complaint on their website at

Yours [faithfully | sincerely],



[Sender name]

[Sender job title]

[Sender telephone]
[Sender email]

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£ 9

Get much more with our
Data access and privacy template toolkit:

In which communication or process sequence does this template belong?

Previous step
Subject Access Request (SAR) Request form template

A standardised form for employees to use when submitting a SAR.

This step
Subject Access Request (SAR) Refusal letter template
Next step
Employee appeal (general) letter template

Our Employee Appeal Letter Template provides a structured format for employees to appeal decisions, ensuring clarity and fairness in the process.

Subject Access Request (SAR) Refusal letter
subject access request (sar) refusal letter