Q&As

Do you have any guidance on the exemption in the General Data Protection Regulation, Regulation (EU) 2016/679 for processing special categories of personal data which is ‘manifestly made public’ by the data subject?

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Produced in partnership with Shobana Iyer of Swan Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 19/02/2018

The following Information Law Q&A Produced in partnership with Shobana Iyer of Swan Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Do you have any guidance on the exemption in the General Data Protection Regulation, Regulation (EU) 2016/679 for processing special categories of personal data which is ‘manifestly made public’ by the data subject?
  • Special categories of personal data under the GDPR
  • Grounds for processing special categories of personal data

This Q&A relates to the exemption set out in Article 9(2)(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation, Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (the GDPR), which is broadly similar to the exemption under Article 8(2)(e) of Directive 95/46/EC, the Data Protection Directive, on this basis, guidance that relates to Article 8(2)(e) may still be of use in interpreting the position of this exemption under the GDPR.

A comparison is set out below:

Data Protection DirectiveGDPR
Article 8(2)(e) of Directive 95/46/EC:
the processing relates to data which are manifestly made public by the data subject
Article 9(2)(e) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679, GDPR:
processing relates to personal data which are manifestly made public by the data subject

Special categories of personal data under the GDPR

Special categories of personal data are types of personal data which the GDPR specifies as being more sensitive and therefore require more protection. Although special categories of personal data are broadly the same as those in the Data Protection Directive (and the equivalent ‘sensitive personal data’ under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998)), there are some changes. For example, the special categories in the GDPR specifically include genetic and biometric data which were processed to uniquely identify an individual. For further clarity on special categories of personal data, see the definition in Article 9(1) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679, GDPR.

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