GDPR: What is it about?

The principle purpose of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is to deliver the ‘Rights of Data Subjects’ identified in Articles 15 to 22 of the GDPR and (Article 1(1)) lays down rules relating to the protection of Natural [Living] Persons (Data Subjects) with regard to the processing of personal data and rules relating to the free movement of personal data.

They are:

  1. Right of access by the data subject (Article 15)
  2. Right to rectification (Article 16)
  3. Right to erasure (aka, ‘Right to be forgotten’) (Article 17)
  4. Right to restriction of processing (Article 18)
  5. Right to data portability (Article 20)
  6. Right to Object (Article 21)
  7. Right not to be subject to Automated Decision Making (Article 22)

The link to the right will take you to a PDF copy of the EU GDPR.

These ‘Rights’ are obligated on organisations and delivered to data subjects in the Principles a) to f) contained in Article 5(1):

1.Personal data shall be:
(a) processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject (‘lawfulness, fairness and transparency’);
(b) 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 initial purposes (‘purpose limitation’);
(c) adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed (‘data minimisation’);
(d) accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay (‘accuracy’);
(e) 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 insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by this Regulation in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of the data subject (‘storage limitation’);
(f) processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures (‘integrity and confidentiality’).

EU GDPR Resources

Download a copy of the EU GDPR PDF file


‘personal data’ means 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, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person;

‘processing’ means any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as 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;