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Personal data

The General Data Protection Regulation applies to the processing of personal data. Personal data is any information that refers to an identified or identifiable natural person.

Personal data and personal data processing

What is crucial is that the information on its own or in combination with other information can be linked to a living person. Typical personal data is:

  • a person's personal identity number
  • name
  • address.

Images and sound recordings of individuals that are processed by computer can constitute personal data even if no names are mentioned.

Encrypted data and various kinds of electronic identities, for example IP addresses and cookies are considered personal data if they can be linked to natural persons. Information that has been encoded, encrypted or pseudonymised but that can be related to a natural person by means of complementary data also constitutes personal data.

All types of action with personal data constitute personal data processing, for example:

  • collecting
  • registration
  • organisation
  • structuring
  • storage
  • manipulation
  • alteration
  • retrieval
  • reading
  • use
  • disclosure
  • dissemination or provision in other ways,
  • adjustment or combination
  • limitation
  • erasure or destruction.

The General Data Protection Regulation applies to fully or partly automated processing of personal data. It also applies in the case of manual processing of personal data if the personal data is part of or is intended to be part of a manual register that is searchable using special criteria.

Latest update: 19 February 2024
Page labels Data protection