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8 GDPR Principles

Regarding the safety and security of personal data there are specific requirements and expectations that must be met. However, many organizations are struggling with implementing a workable strategy to ensure GDPR laws compliance.

The GDPR, however, stipulates some fundamental data protection principles and these should apply to all organizations and businesses who collect, store and use personal data, regardless of the size of the organization.

If you find yourself questioning what are the key data protection principles under GDPR, then this guide can be very helpful in developing your understanding.

There are 8 data protection principles under GDPR the companies need to abide by in order to ensure that they are compliant:

key data protection principles

Principle 1:  Processing Personal Data Fairly And Lawfully

The focus is on managing personal data. The best practice for organizations is to tell people before getting personal data.

“All organizations need to have in place strict policies and procedures to deal with data information requests by individuals and to be able to provide such information in an easy to understand way.”

Each one of the DPA principles is essential for smooth compliance and lawful use of personal information. The fair, lawful processing of personal data in one of the key aspects of these principles. 

Principle 2:  Processing Personal Data For Specified Purposes

gdpr audit

Organizations must have a policy in place for the collection of personal data, and personal information must only be obtained with the explicit agreement of the data subject, for the reasons for which it was requested, and only for those purposes.

Principle 3: The Amount Of Personal Data You May Hold

Many organizations collect and hold enormous amounts of data for various purposes, be it monitoring behavior, marketing purposes, research and often data may be sensitive.

The principle advises that organizations need to evaluate the relevance of the data stored.

Principle 4: Keeping Personal Data Accurate And Up-To-Date

Organizations must have a comprehensive policy and procedure for regular reviews to ensure compliance with GDPR. All personnel should keep and maintain an accurate database of all customer and employee personal information.

Principle 5:  Retaining Personal Data

This principle states that data may only be kept for as long as it is required for the specific reason for which it was obtained. Organizations will need to maintain rigorous control over the retention, storage, and transit of personal data in order to comply with this principle.

Principle 6:  The Rights Of Individuals

The GDPR laws have expanded the rights of individuals to including:

  1. Right to know organizations are collecting what sort of data.
  2. How organizations are collecting data?
  3. What will organizations do with this data?
  4. How the Organizations now must provide, upon request, a copy of the data in electronic format, free of charge for portability.

Furthermore, the right to erasure is giving the individual more choice over how their data is being used or preserved. Organizations must focus on policies and procedures to ensure that all staff members are aware of the stages of request handling and ensure GDPR compliance.

The rights of the individual and their sanctity in the shape of a transparent flow of information are essential as one of the data protection principles.

Principle 7:   Information Security

There is no excuse when it comes to protecting and securing personal data and the privacy rights of individuals.  Security measures are imperative in the implementation of this principle.

  1. Firstly, keep only required data.

2. Keep policies and procedures up to date and in line with the requirements,

3. Educate and provide basic 8 principles of GDPR related training to all personnel accordingly

4. Ensure all physical areas, hardware, and software have security and protection.

Principle 8:   Sending Personal Data Outside The European Economic Area (EEA)

Under this principle, organizations must ensure that you are not sending the personal data out of the EEA. 

There is a list of countries that are acceptable which do not include the US. 

Countries that do not have adequate levels of protection such as China, Japan, Brazil and the Middle East and appropriate safeguards will need to ensure that they put into place appropriate data privacy measure such as the obtaining of explicit and informed consent or by specific and approved contracts with guarantees by way of Model Contract Clauses. Additionally, other methods of transferring personal data legally are by the use of Binding Corporate Rules, which allow multinational organizations to transfer data outside the EEA.

Summary of the 8 key data protection principles under GDPR

The 8 key data protection principles under GDPR ensure that a clear and transparent process is followed. This enables a level of protection and security to individuals, but also a checklist and methodology for organizations to assist with compliance. Therefore, safeguarding the individual should be at the forefront of any business that collects, stores and manages personal data.  

Ensuring compliance with GDPR laws is an obligation.

8 main data protection principles as follows: 

  • Firstly, Lawfulness, fairness and transparency
  • Secondly, Purpose limitation
  • Thirdly, Data minimization
  • Accuracy
  • Storage limitation
  • Integrity and confidentiality (security)
  • Accountability
  • Lastly, International Transfers


Upholding the GDPR laws entails upholding these principles in action and in thought.

gdpr principles

“The compliance to the GDPR law requires the use of best practices in the industry. It ensures data being processed, collected, stored and used is all lawful, fair and transparent. There are data minimization policies in place. All the collection and categorization of personal data is accurate.

Additionally, the business collecting the personal data must maintain appropriate privacy protection. They are accountable for their data collection, storage, and use phases to the data subjects, law enforcement, and regulatory bodies involved. However, this should sum up the 8 data protection principles explained in detail above under the GDPR.

So, the 8 key data protection principles of GDPR are upheld through proper GDPR compliance training. The use of an artificial intelligence-powered tool kit that can help throughout the process.