Purpose limitation is an important principle of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that requires companies to specify the purpose of collecting personal data and to ensure that the data is only used for that specific purpose. This principle is designed to protect the privacy of individuals by ensuring that their personal data is not used for unintended or unexpected purposes.
Article 5 Principles relating to the processing of personal data (b)
Personal data shall be (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’);
Purpose limitation in the context of the GDPR
Definition of personal data processed:
Under the GDPR, personal data is any information that relates to an identified or identifiable natural person. This includes things like names, addresses, and email addresses, as well as more sensitive information such as financial data or health records. You must define what personal data you are processing.
Purpose limitation- Specifying the purpose of data collection:
Companies must specify the purpose of collecting personal data and ensure that the data is only used for that specific purpose. This means that companies cannot use personal data for unrelated purposes without obtaining explicit consent from the individuals concerned.
Purpose limitation- Limiting the collection of personal data:
The GDPR requires companies to limit the collection of personal data to what is necessary for the specified purpose. This means that companies should only collect the minimum amount of personal data needed to achieve their goals, and should not collect more data than is necessary.
Ensuring data accuracy:
Companies must also take steps to ensure that the personal data they collect is accurate and up-to-date. This includes verifying the accuracy of the data at the time of collection and updating it as necessary.
“The fines of GDPR are big, but the reputational risk is likely to be bigger!” – David Coolegem – Senior Manager at Sia Partners
The principle of purpose limitation is designed to protect the privacy of individuals by ensuring that their personal data is only used for the specific purpose for which it was collected. By following this principle, companies can demonstrate their commitment to protecting the personal data of their customers and clients, and ensure compliance with the GDPR.
- You should be clear on what your processing purposes are from the beginning.
- You must record your processing purposes as part of your documentation obligations and specify them in the Records of processing.
- You can only use the personal data for a new purpose in case that the new purpose is compatible with your original purpose, you get consent, or you have a legal obligation.