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GDPR - Principles

Like the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) that it will replace, the GDPR is founded on a series of principles. These are set out in Article 5.

The principles are central to GDPR compliance. Personal data shall be:

  1. processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals ('lawfulness, fairness and transparency');
  2. 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 not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes ('purpose limitation');
  3. adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed ('data minimisation');
  4. 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');
  5. 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 subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by the GDPR in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals ('storage limitation');
  6. 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').

The principle of Accountability

Article 5(2) places an obligation on UCL to demonstrate compliance with the new Regulation by introducing a new ‘accountability’ principle:

2. The controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate compliance with, paragraph 1 ('accountability').

In practice, UCL will be required not only to implement a range of data protection measures to ensure compliance with the GDPR, but also demonstrate this compliance. This requires UCL to adopt a proactive approach to data protection compliance, including the following:

  • publishing more expansive privacy notices;
  • undertaking data protection audits;
  • reviewing polices;
  • conducting privacy impact assessments;
  • issuing activity records;
  • updating relevant guidance implementing the principles of ‘data protection by design and default’