GDPR provides the following rights for Data Subjects i.e. individuals:
- The right to be informed about what data is being held about them
- The right of access to their personal data
- The right to rectify their personal data
- The right to erase their personal data
- The right to restrict the processing of their personal data
- The right to data portability i.e. transferral between Data Protection Controllers
- The right to object to their personal data being used
- Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling of their personal data
Data Subjects have the right to be informed about the collection and use of their personal data. This is a key transparency requirement under the GDPR. As an organisation, you must provide individuals with information such as your purposes for processing their personal data; your retention periods for that personal data, and who it will be shared with. This is called ‘privacy information’.
You must provide this privacy information to Data Subjects at the time you collect their personal data from them. If you obtain personal data from other sources, you must provide Data Subjects with privacy information within a reasonable period of obtaining the data and within one month.
There are a few circumstances when you do not need to provide Data Subjects with privacy information, such as if a Data Subject already has the information or if it would involve a disproportionate effort to provide it to them. The information you provide to Data Subjects must be concise, transparent, intelligible, easily accessible, and it must use clear and plain language.
You must regularly review, and where necessary, update your privacy information. You must bring any new uses of a Data Subject’s personal data to their attention before you start processing it.
Getting the right to be informed correctly can help you to comply with other aspects of the GDPR and build trust with Data Subjects, but getting it wrong can leave you open to possible fines and reputational damage.