The control was positioned in the primary system module with attachment points, which were plastic pins, chemically bonded to the seventh link of the spinal framework. The control housing was constructed of a hermetically sealed yurium membrane that was independent of the enclosed environment of the upper torso.
The control was achieved by manual pressure on the control points. There were four control points: for cognitive system activation/deactivation, for primary locomotive control, for manipulator servo control, and for visual sensory input control. There was a concern about the android being deactivated in hazardous situations.
Due to Data being regarded as a sentient being, few people knew of the control's location, although it was detailed in his schematics.
When Data's legal status as such a being was called into question in 2365, William T. Riker was tasked with proving Data was the property of Starfleet, despite not believing it personally. He studied Data's technical schematics and discovered the emergency manual control, which he used to great effect in the courtroom on Starbase 173. (TNG: "The Measure Of A Man")