Data Protection:  ICO Guidance on Special Category Data

data protection

What do we already know?

The GDPR singles out some types of personal data as likely to be more sensitive, and gives them extra protection. This includes personal data revealing an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, their political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs or their trade union membership. It also covers genetic data and biometric data (where used for identification purposes), data about a person’s health or their sex life and data about their sexual orientation.

Special category data has to be treated with greater care because collecting and using it is more likely to interfere with an individual’s fundamental rights and freedoms, or expose someone to discrimination.

What’s new?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has:

  • published guidance (available here) which explains the rules that organisations must follow before processing special category data; and
  • updated its guide to data protection regarding special category data (available here).
data protection