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Personal data should be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, with regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay.
An adequacy decision is a decision adopted by the European Commission on the basis of Article 45 of the GDPR, which establishes that a third country (i.e. a country not bound by the GDPR) or international organisation ensures an adequate level of protection of personal data. Such a decision takes into account the country’s domestic laws, ... Read more
Anonymous information is information thatdoes not relate to an identified or identifiable natural person, or to personal data rendered anonymous in such a manner that the data subject is not, or is no longer, identifiable. The GDPR does not cover the processing of anonymous information, including for statistical or research purposes (Recital 26, GDPR).
The Article 29 Working Party is the short name of the Data Protection Working Party established by Article 29 of Directive 95/46/EC. It provided the European Commission with independent advice on data protection matters and helped in the development of a harmonised implementation of data protection rules in the EU Member States. As of 25 ... Read more
Article 93 of the GDPR calls for the Commission to be assisted by a committee when adopting implementing measures. This is a committee within the meaning of Regulation EU No. 182/2011. It is comprised of representatives from Member States and chaired by the Commission. By way of example, the Article 93 Committee cooperates in the procedure ... Read more
An automated individual decision is a decision which significantly affects a person and which is based solely on automated processing of personal data in order to evaluate this person. Such an evaluation may relate to different personal aspects, such as performance at work, creditworthiness, reliability, conduct, etc. Article 22 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and Article ... Read more
The balancing test is a tool aimed at balancing the legitimate interests of the controller (or third parties) against the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject. The outcome of the balancing test largely determines whether may be relied upon as a legal ground for processing. It is worth mentioning already at ... Read more
The International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications (IWGDPT), also known as the Berlin Group, was established in 1983 on the initiative of a number of national data protection authorities aroundthe world. Since then, its secretariat has been provided by the data protection authority of Berlin (Berliner Datenschutz-beauftragter). Membership ofthe Group is not limited ... Read more
Best Available Techniques refer to the most effective techniques, and/orthose at the most advanced stage in their development, of activities and their methods of operation. It indicates the practical suitability of particular techniques for providing in principle the basis for complying with the EU data protection framework. They are designed to prevent or mitigate risks ... Read more
These are policies for personal dataprotection which are adhered to by a controller or processor, and established on the territory of an EU Member State, for transfers (or a set of transfers) of personal data to a controller or processor in one or more third countries within a group of undertakings, or group of enterprises, ... Read more
These are personal data resulting from specific technical processing that relate to the physical, physiological or behavioural characteristics of a natural person. They allow or confirm the unique identification of that natural person. Examples include facial images or dactyloscopic(i.e. fingerprint) data.
Biometrics, or biometric systems, are methods for uniquely recognising humans based upon one or more intrinsic physical or behavioural traits. Thesemethods have been used for a long time. However, the new element which triggers data protection considerations is that a machine can now automatically conduct these methods and possibly recognise humans with measurable accuracy.
CCTV, or“closed circuit television”, is a television system comprised of a camera (or set of cameras) monitoring a specific protected area, with additional equipment used for viewing and/or storing the CCTV footage. The term originates from the fact that, as opposed to broadcast television, CCTV is usually a “closed” rather than an “open” system, with ... Read more
Cloud computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices ondemand. It is a paradigm shift, following the shift from mainframe to client–server in the early 1980s. Cloud computing describes a new consumption and delivery model for IT services, one based on the Internet. It typically involves ... Read more
Confidentiality in a general sense refers to the duty not to share information with persons who are not qualified to receive that information (see Article 5(f) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and Article 4(f) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725). In a more specific sense, it refers to the confidentiality of communications provided for in Article 5 of ... Read more
Any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes by which they, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to them.
This term means the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data. Where the purposes and means of such processing are determined by European Union or Member State law, the controller or the specific criteria for ... Read more
Convention 108 refers to the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, which was adopted by the Council of Europe in 1981. It is the first legally binding international instrument adopted in the field of data protection. It sets out the minimum standards aimed at protecting individuals against ... Read more
Cookies are short text files stored on auser’s device by a website.  Cookies are normally used to provide a more personalised experience and to remember a user’s profile without the need fora specific login. Cookies can also be placed by third parties (such as an advertising network) in end users’ devices and maybe used to ... Read more
This can mean either: the processing of personal data which takes place in the context of the activities of establishments in more than one Member State of a controller or processor in the Union, where the controller or processor is established in more than one Member State; or the processing of personal data which takes ... Read more
Thisauthority, established by the Council Decision on the use of information technology for customs purposes, is responsible for supervising part of the Customs Information System (CIS) established under that Decision. The Authority inspects the central CIS database, offers advice, and can examine issues relating to access requests by data subjects.More information on the CIS can ... Read more
This is personal data related to the physical or mental health of a natural person, including the provision of health care services, which reveal information about their health status.
The principle of data minimisation means that a data controller should limit the collection of personal information to what is directly relevant and necessary to accomplish a specified purpose. They should also retain the data only for as long as is necessary to fulfil that purpose. In other words, data controllers should only collect the personal ... Read more
Data mining is the process of analysing data from different perspectives and summarising it into useful new information. Data mining software is one of a number of tools for interrogating data. It allows users to analyse data from many different dimensions or angles, categorise it, and summarise the relationships identified. Technically, data mining is the ... Read more
A DPA is an independent body which is in charge of: monitoring the processing of personal data within its jurisdiction (country, region or international organisation); providing advice to the competent bodies with regard to legislative and administrative measures relating to the processing of personal data; hearing complaints lodged by citizens with regard to the protection of ... Read more
By default, companies and organisations should ensure that personal data is processed with the highest privacy protection (e.g. only the data necessary should be processed, short storage period, limited accessibility) so that, by default, personal data isnot accessible to an indefinite number of persons.
Privacy by design aims at building privacy and data protection ‘up front’, meaning into the design specifications and architecture of information and communication systems and technologies, in order to facilitate compliance with privacy and data protection principles.
In addition to the data protection officer foreseen by Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, some EUinstitutions have appointed a data protectioncoordinator  to coordinate all data protection aspects in the relevant DG, departments or units.
The data controller shallcarry out an assessment – a DPIA – of the impact of the envisaged processing operations on the protection of personal data, when thetype of processing is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons.This assessment must be done prior to the processing and, in ... Read more
The GDPR introduced a new agent in the data protection framework: the data protection officer. This should be an expert on data protection law and practices, and be in a position to operate independently within the organisation. The DPO should ensure the internal application of the GDPR,and that the rights and freedoms of data subjects ... Read more
Data quality refers to a set of principles laid down in Article 5 of the GDPR and Article 4 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, namely: lawfulness, fairness and transparency purpose limitation data minimisation accuracy storage limitation integrity and confidentiality.
Data retention refers to all obligations on the part of data controllers to retain personal data for certain purposes.The Data Retention Directive (Directive 2006/24/EC (pdf)) contains an obligation for providers of electronic communications to retain traffic and location data of communications (e.g. through telephone, e-mail, etc.). Retention takes place for the purpose of the investigation, detection ... Read more
See: Security of processing
The data subject is the person whose personal data are collected, held or processed.
Data transfers refers to processing when the recipient is located in a country outside the EU/EEA according to Chapter V of the GDPR, and of Regulation (EU) No 2018/1725.
A natural or legal person engaged in an economic activity, irrespective of its legal form, including partnerships or associations regularly engaged in an economic activity.
The EDPB is an independent European body that contributes to the consistent application of data protection rules throughout the EEA and promotes cooperation between the EEA’s data protection authorities. Based in Brussels, the EDPB is composed of representatives of the national data protection authorities, and the EDPS. It was established by the GDPR and has a ... Read more
The EDPB is an independent European body that contributes to the consistent application of data protection rules throughout the EEA and promotes cooperation between the EEA’s data protection authorities. Based in Brussels, the EDPB is composed of representatives of the national data protection authorities, and the EDPS. It was established by the GDPR and has a ... Read more
The EDPS is an independent supervisory authority established in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 2018/1725, on the basis of Article 16 TFEU. Its mission is to ensure that the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals – in particular their privacy – are respected when EU institutions and bodies process personal data.
The EEA links the EU member states and three EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) into an internal market governed by the same basic rules.
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a regional trade organization and free trade area consisting of four European states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland
Fairness is an overarching principle which requires that personal data shall not be processed in a way that is detrimental, discriminatory, unexpected or misleading to the data subject. Measures and safeguards implementing the principle of fairness also support the rights and freedoms of data subjects, specifically the right to information (transparency), the right to intervene ... Read more
Any structured set of personal data thatisaccessible according to specific criteria, whether centralised, decentralised or dispersed on a functional or geographical basis.
Personal data relating to the inherited or acquired genetic characteristics of a natural person, which give unique information about the physiology or the health of that natural person and which result, in particular, from an analysis of a biological sample from the natural person in question.
See data concerning health
A service as defined in point (b) of Article 1(1) of Directive (EU) 2015/1535 of the European Parliament and of the Council (19).
The principle of integrity and confidentiality refers to the classical protection goals of IT security, namely confidentiality, integrity and availability.  Resilience can be considered an aspect of availability.  The main focus is to protect assets against risks caused by undesirable events.  In stark contrast to IT security, these assets and risks are not those of ... Read more
Every year in the European autumn, privacy and data protection authorities from Europe and other parts of the world meet at the International Conference. Unlike the European Conference, this is open toattendance by other interested parties. The International Conference takes stock of new developments and usually adopts resolutions in a closed session for data protection authorities ... Read more
An organisation and its subordinate bodies governed by public international law, or any other body which is set up by, or on the basis of, an agreement between two or more countries.
Where two or more controllers jointly determine the purposes and means of processing, they are joint controllers. They shall, in a transparent manner, determine their respective responsibilities for compliance with the obligations under theGDPR, in particular withregards to the exercising of the rights of the data subject, and their respective duties to provide the information ... Read more
JSAs and JSBs were a model for organising the data protection supervision of several large-scale IT databases operated atthe European level, and for certain agencies in the law-enforcement field. Essentially, they comprised representatives of national DPAs. They existed for, among others, Europol and the Schengen Information System under the Schengen Convention. Most JSAs and JSBs ... Read more
Several databases (i.e. information systems) created, or about to be created, by the EU can be considered large by various (sometimes all) measures: the number of people using the system for different purposes;the amount of data collected, stored, accessed and manipulated; thenumber of connections between components, etc. In particular, the EU is creating or updating ... Read more
Processing shall be lawful only if, and to the extent that, at least one of the following applies: the data subject has given consent to the processing of their personal data for one or more specific purposes; processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party, or in ... Read more
Processing can only be considered lawful if a legal basis for processing applies. Legal bases are specified by Article 6(1) GDPR. See also: Lawful processing of personal data.
Legitimate interest is a legal basis for data processing (Article 6, GDPR). An interest can be considered as legitimate as long as the controller can pursue it in a way that is in accordance with data protection and other laws. In other words, a legitimate interest must be acceptable under the law. The notion of ... Read more
Main establishment means one of the following: for a controller with establishments in more than one Member State, the place of its central administration in the EU, unless the decisions on the purposes and means of the processing of personal data are taken in another establishment of the controller in the EUand the latter establishment ... Read more
Any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’). An identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, ... Read more
A breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed.
According to Article 3 (7) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, a personal data filing system refers to “any structured set of personal data which are accessible according to specific criteria, whether centralised, decentralised or dispersed on a functional or geographical basis”.The definition is independent of the size of the filing system, which may vary according to ... Read more
Privacy is the ability of an individual to be left alone, out of public view, and in control of information about oneself.One can distinguish the ability to prevent intrusion in one’s physical space (physical privacy, for example protection of the private home) and the ability to control the collection and sharing of information about oneself ... Read more
PETs refer to a coherent system of ICT measures that protect privacy by eliminating or reducing personal data, or by preventing unnecessary and/or undesired processing of personal data, all without losing the functionality of the information system. PETs can be stand-alone tools requiring positive action by consumers (who must purchase and install them on their ... Read more
Any operation, or set of operations, which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether (or not) by automated means. Processing of data includesits collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.
A natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body that processes personal data on behalf of the controller.
Transfers of personal data from a data controller to a data processor must be secured by a data processor agreement. It must meet certain minimum requirements, as set forth by Article 28 of the GDPR and Article 29 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725.The contract must stipulate that the data processor shall act only on instructions from the ... Read more
Any form of automated processing of personal data that uses personal data to evaluate certain aspects relating to a natural person.In particular, profiling refers to analysing or predicting aspects concerning anatural person’s performance at work, economic situation, health, personal preferences, interests, reliability, behaviour, location or movements.
The processing of personal data in such a manner that the personal data can no longer be attributed to a specific data subject without the use of additional information. Such additional information must bekept separately and subject to technical and organisational measures to ensure that the personal data are not attributed to an identified or ... Read more
Personal data shall be collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes, and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes. Further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall, in accordance with Article 89(1), not be considered to be incompatible with the ... Read more
RFID is an automatic identification method that relies on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders.An RFID tag is an object that can be applied to, or incorporated into, a product, an animal or a person for the purpose of identification or remote tracking through radio waves. The EDPS released an ... Read more
A natural or legal person, public authority, agency or another body to which personal data are disclosed, whether a third party or not. Public authorities which may receive personal data in the framework of a particular inquiry in accordance with EUor Member State law arenot regarded as recipients; the processing of data by suchpublic authorities shall ... Read more
To demonstrate compliance with Regulation (EU) No 2018/1725, controllers should maintain records of processing activities under their responsibility, and processors should maintain records of categories of processing activities under their responsibility.Unless it is not appropriate (taking into account the size of the EUinstitution or body), EU institutions and bodies shall keep their records of processing ... Read more
This is an objection to a draft decision on whether there is an infringement of  the GDPR, or whether envisaged action in relation to the controller or processor complies with this Regulation, which clearly demonstrates the significance of the risks posed by the draft decision as regards the fundamental rights and freedoms of data subjects ... Read more
A natural or legal person established in the EUwho, designated by the controller or processor in writing pursuant to Article 27, represents the controller or processor with regard to their respective obligations under the GDPR.
Data retention refers to all obligations on the part of controllers to retain personal data for certain purposes.The retention period is how long the data is kept for these purposes.Limits to how long controllerskeep personal data is part of the principle of data minimisation. The ‘rule of thumb’ is “as long as necessary, as short as ... Read more
Data subjects have the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing (e.g. by an algorithm), including profiling, which produces legal effects concerning them or similarly significantly affects them (Article 22(1), GDPR). A decision may be considered as producing legal effects when the individual’s legal rights or legal status are ... Read more
This refers to the right for any data subject to obtain from the controller of a processing operation the confirmation that data related to them are being processed, the purpose(s) for which they are processed, as well as the logic involved in any automated decision process concerning them.This right also allows the data subject to receive communication, ... Read more
Article 12 of the GDPR states that controllers must provide data subjects with information relating to processing aboutthem “in a concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language, in particular for any information addressed specifically to a child.” The right to be informed is essential because it determines the exercise of ... Read more
Thisright is explicitly provided for in Article 17 of the GDPR: “Provided that any of the grounds described by letters (a-f) applies, the data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller the erasure of personal data concerning him or her without undue delay and the controller shall have the obligation to erase ... Read more
According to Article 18 of the GDPR, “the data subject shall have the right to object, on grounds relating to his or her particular situation, at any time to processing of personal data concerning him or her which is based on point (a) of Article 5(1), including profiling based on that provision. The controller shall no ... Read more
According to Article 21 of the GDPR, “the data subject shall have the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling, which produces legal effects concerning him or her or similarly significantly affects him or her”. Under Article 22(2)(b), the Member or EUState law that authorises the processing ... Read more
Portability is the right of the data subject to receive a subset of the personal data processed by a data controller concerning them, and to store those data for further personal use. The GDPR defines the right to portability in Article 20 (1) as follows: “The data subject shall have the right to receive the ... Read more
According to Article 16 of the GDPR, “the data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller without undue delay the rectification of inaccurate personal data concerning him or her. Taking into account the purposes of the processing, the data subject shall have the right to have incomplete personal data completed, including by means ... Read more
The right to restriction of processing (Article 18 of the GDPR) prevents controllers from further using data that have been reported to be inaccurate, or pertain to processing the data subject has objected to. Specifically, according to Article 18,“the data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller restriction of processing where one ... Read more
Safe Harbor Principles are a set of privacy and data protection principles that, together with a set of frequently asked questions providing guidance for the implementation of the principles, have been considered by the European Commission to provide an adequate level of protection.These principles were issued by the Government of the United States on 21 ... Read more
The SIS is a large-scale IT system linked to the abolition of internal border controls of the Schengen territory, which comprises most of the EU territory plus a few other countries.It contains information on objects (e.g. stolen cars, identity documents), as well as persons. Personal information may be recorded in the SIS on: third states nationals ... Read more
A breach of security occurs where a stated organisational policy or legal requirement regarding information security has been violated. However, every incident which suggests that the confidentiality, integrity or availability of the information has been compromised can be considered a security incident. Every security breach is initiated by a security incident; if that incident is ... Read more
According to Article 33 of Regulation (EU) No 2018/1725, the controller and the processor must implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure an appropriate level of security in relation to the risks represented by the processing, and the nature of the personal data to be protected.An example, provided in Article 33 of the GDPR, is the ... Read more
Special categories of personal data include data that reveals “racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade-union membership, genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural’s sex life or sexual orientation” (Article 10 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725; Article 9 of the GDPR). ... Read more
Standard contractual clauses are legal tools to provide adequate safeguards for data transfers from the EU or the EEA to third countries.The European Commission has adopted three Decisions declaring standard contractual clauses to be adequate;  companies can therefore incorporate these clauses into a transfer contract.In principle, no authorisation is required from DPAs to use these ... Read more
Personal data should be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed. Personal data may be stored for longer periods if the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or ... Read more
An independent public authority established by a Member State pursuant to Article 51 of the GDPR.
This refers to a supervisory authority concerned by the processing of personal data, because: the controller or processor is established in the territory of the Member State of that supervisory authority; data subjects residing in the Member State of that supervisory authority are substantially affected, or likely to be substantially affected, by the processing; a complaint ... Read more
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A third country is a country which is not bound by the GDPR,i.e. any countryoutside the 28 EU Member States and three EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).Third countries may be recognised as offering an adequate level of protection for personal data, in order to enable transfers of personal data from EU and EEA Member ... Read more
A natural or legal person, public authority, agency or body other than the data subject, controller, processor and persons who, under the direct authority of the controller or processor, are authorised to process personal data.
A person or organisation external to the controller and processors to whom personal data is disclosed.
Traffic data are data processed for the purpose of the conveyance of communication on an electronic communications network.According to the means of communication used, the data needed to convey the communication will vary, but may typically include contact details, time and location data. Although such traffic data should be distinguished from content data, both are ... Read more
Transparency is a key prerequisite for accountability in the GDPR.  Itsmain focus is to inform data subjects upfront[1] of the existence of the processing and its main characteristics.  Other information (e.g. about the data subject) is available on request.  Data subjects must also be informed of certain events, notably data breaches (in cases where the ... Read more
Videosurveillance is the monitoring of a specific area, event, activity or person by means of an electronic device or system for visual monitoring. Typically, thisiscarried out using CCTV systems.
The VIS is a large scale IT system which will contain information, including photographs and fingerprint data, about visa applicants. One of itsmain purposes is to fight “visa shopping”. Citizens from more than 120 countries need visas to enter the EU. The inclusion of fingerprint and photograph information is intended to allow border checks to ... Read more
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