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What are the 7 Principles of GDPR?

The digitization era has enabled organizations to store the personal data of their customers without any time limit. Several websites that we visit today on smartphones and tablets extract all sorts of information from the device without our permission. This necessitated stringent data protection laws to come into force. Currently, every nation has formulated its own data protection laws based on the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

GDPR was enforced in 2018 by the European Union. The GDPR law is designed to protect the personal data of citizens. Organizations catering to the needs of EU citizens require approvals from customers before collecting their data.  In addition, businesses need to be transparent with its customers while using their personal data. The regulation is based on a set of principles that guides an organization about the data protection law.

Previously, the Data Protection Act of 1988, was based on 8 principles. The evolution of information technology has led to the refinement of these 8 principles and reduced its number to 7. Let us gain a deeper understanding of these principles and determine its significance.

The 7 Principles of GDPR

What are the 7 Principles of GDPR?, What are the 7 Principles of GDPR, 7 Principles of GDPR?
7 Principles of GDPR

Lawfulness, Fairness and Transparency

This principle of GDPR emphasizes on collecting information in a legit manner, use it as promised, and maintain transparency. Lawfulness further indicates that the data is obtained with consent or through contract, and so on. Fairness states that the data collected should be processed as promised to the customer. Transparency plays a vital role for individuals as it helps them to understand their data protection rights and provide consent accordingly.

Purpose Limitation

Organizations that collect personal data are required to explicitly inform how the data is being processed along with the purpose. On receiving the consent businesses cannot alter the purpose for which data was collected. This GDPR principle demonstrates that an organization can process the data collected only for the purpose disclosed to customers. If the data collected is needed for a different purpose, businesses need to receive the approval of individuals.

Data Minimalization

This GDPR principle specified that the data collected should be sufficient and relevant. The law requires businesses to justify the data collected along with necessary documentation. Organizations that collect data of EU citizens are allowed to collect only basic data of citizens to fulfill the stated purposes. If any organization is observed to cross the limit of collecting data, it is seen as a violation of the regulation. Furthermore, the law encourages businesses to fulfill their requirements without collecting personal data.


The accuracy principle of GDPR requires businesses to maintain up-to-date information on individuals. Owning irrelevant information on individuals is further considered as a violation of the regulation. Such data have to be deleted from the organization’s database. Businesses that require personal data of individuals frequently can add that clause in their data policy. Furthermore, even customers can impose their rectification rights and get the previous data deleted from the database.

Storage limitation

This principle of GDPR limits the time period for storing the personal data of organizations. The data collected with consent from individuals has an expiration date. Beyond the time limit, organizations lose the right to store the data of individuals. Further, it is advised to let the individuals know about this limitation date. In order to erase the data collected, businesses need to have a proper data deletion system in place. Failing to do so is considered as a violation, wherein organizations might end up paying huge fine amounts.

Integrity and confidentiality

Every organization following the principles of GDPR is bound to secure the data collected from individuals. As cyber-attacks have increased over the years, organizations are held responsible during a data breach. Hence, businesses are required to safeguard the personal data of individuals through a robust information security system. Adequate cybersecurity measures are a must for organizations dealing with the sensitive information of individuals.


This principle of GDPR required organizations to be reliable and accountable while collecting personal data of individuals. To avoid violations, businesses need to document every step while processing the data collected. This practice allows organizations to justify their practices when they are charged with non-compliance.

Businesses that fail to follow the rules specified in GDPR will have to pay huge non-compliance fine amounts. The fine may range from the range anywhere between 17.5 million euros to 4% of the annual income along with other penalties. As a result, it is important for organizations to comply with the regulation and implement the principles while transacting with EU citizens.


The complexity of the regulation has necessitated organizations to hire professionals who are well-versed with GDPR. These professionals own the certification of GDPR Certified Data Protection Officer. Indulging in the process of earning GDPR CDPO Certification helps individuals to gain in-depth insights into GDPR practices and principles. The practices can be further implemented in organizations while collecting personal data of individuals. 

Posted in GDPR

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