What are the Seven Principles of the GDPR?

What are the Seven Principles of the GDPR?

GDPR, or The General Data Protect Regulations, controls how organizations store and use personal data. The government introduced GDPR in 2018; since then, it has become a topic of discussion. The principles of GDPR focus on the lawful processing of personal data, such as making companies update their operations. Join us, as in this blog, we will discuss the seven essential principles of GDPR and the related topics.

For many corporation owners, taking their business to the international level is an outstanding achievement. But like many milestones in the journey to success, GDPR hinders further success. GDPR has one of the strictest data protection laws in the world today. The rules of GDPR are often extensive, complex, and sometimes overwhelming. As of now, while reading this article, you would think about the principles of GDPR, which have caused such a wave of unease amongst businesses. Well, read furthermore to find out!

The seven principles of GDPR

· Lawfulness, Fairness, and transparency

Each word in the first principle of GDPR has its meaning. The three components of Lawfulness, Fairness, and Transparency play different roles. The output of these principles is then combined to create the first principle of GDPR.

The word Lawfulness means that the organization is collecting the personal data of its users with consent. A firm should always gather and process the collected data. Getting the user’s approval is a legal and most common way to collect data.

The word Fairness states that the firm is collecting the data for a good interest and then using it legally. One example is that a firm can use data from people to find out their likes and dislikes and then change their products accordingly.

Transparent means that the firm communicates what, how, and why you process the data.

In short, this principle states that the data must be processed lawfully, fairly, and transparently. The intended use of data has to be disclosed. This allows the data subject to understand precisely how their information is collected and processed. This principle protects against the misuse and mishandling of personal data.

· Purpose limitation

This principle states that the data collected must only be used for intended purposes. Your purpose of use must be specified and legitimate. Furthermore, the data should not be used in a manner incompatible with those purposes.

If the business wants to use the collected data for any other purpose, they must ask the users again for their consent. All while keeping in mind that the use of drive is legal.

· Data Minimization

The rule of GDPR states that you should only keep the data from lying around if you do not need it. Often many firms keep different types of data on their customers. Still, they intend to avoid using it and keep it lying around. This rule of GDPR refrains businesses from doing so.

Data minimization also means businesses should keep only the minimal information necessary. You should not collect data for the possibility of it being helpful later. Doing so means that you are going against this GDPR principle.

· Accuracy

While all the other principle states that the data should be short and used for its intended purpose, this principle of GDPR states that the collected data must be precise and accurate. A firm should ensure they do not keep old data, meaning the erasure of such outdated data.

One downside of data is that it can become outdated. For example, if the data collected by a firm is to find out their customer’s interests. With time and trends, people’s interest varies, which means that the data collected at the start of the year would be pointless in three to four months. Thus, a business should cut such purposeless data and aim to collect new and accurate data again.

· Storage limitation

This principle focuses on deleting personal data when it is no longer required. A firm should not store the personal data of its users which is no longer in use for the purpose intended. Additionally, a corporation should explain to customers how long they plan to keep their data. Also, ensuring the deletion of user data after it has been utilized.

This helps build trust between the customers and the business, which is essential. The customers will be assured that their data will not get leaked or stolen by someone else.

· Integrity and confidentiality

This principle of GDPR focuses on confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Integrity ensures that the personal data collected is correct and cannot be hacked by others. Confidentiality refers to keeping the data secure, which means that only authorized people should have access to the data rather than anyone. Again, doing so builds trust between the firm and customers and limits unnecessary data loss.

The case study below states the importance of integrity and confidentiality of data and what can happen if customer data is not protected and unlawfully assessed.

In 2018, vast data of 383 million guest records were stolen from the Marriot hotel. This was because of a breach in the database. The stolen personal data included addresses, payment card details, and passports number. As a result, of this carelessness and data being stolen, Marriot hotel was given an £18.4m fine.

· Accountability

Lastly, an organization should take responsibility for the data they process while complying with all the laws. They should be able to provide evidence of the measures taken to prove compliance.

GDPR regulators are aware that an organization can say they are following the rules without actually doing it. That’s why a level of accountability is required. Supervisors can ask for accountability anytime. Thus, a firm needs to make its proof ready.

Implying the seven GDPR principles

A firm needs to maintain the trust of its customers and protect their data. Thus, implementation of the seven GDPR principles is essential to do so. While this may seem daunting, there is some way an organization can install these principles effectively. GDPR training is one practice that can ensure that the employees understand and apply their obligations under the GDPR. The training covers a variety of subjects, including fundamental ideas, data subjects’ rights, and their responsibilities.

GDPR training guides handling, collecting, and processing data lawfully and accurately. This training teaches the employees all the key principles they must remember while handling data. By providing training, firms can reduce the risk of data breaches, build trust, and show commitment to protecting personal data.

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Examples of each of the seven principles

  • Lawfulness: In our example, a newsletter company would need the names and email addresses of people who register for the newsletter. The newsletter company must get consent to record people’s addresses for newspaper delivery. Here the concept of Lawfulness is applied as the company asks for its customers’ permission.
  • Fairness: For example, if there’s a company that sells beauty products should only send out information related to its beauty products to its targeted customers. This is the act of showing Fairness, as the company doesn’t misuse the customer database and send them of-interest information.
  • Transparency: The customers have the right to know what data the company processes about them. A business can do the act of transparency by updating its website’s privacy policy. This would let customers know how and where their data would be safely used.
  • Purpose Limitation: In the case of a newsletter company, it should only send out relevant information to its customers. When a customer gives consent to get news on their interested products, the company should make sure the information presented is relevant. Providing information about products other than the customer’s interest would be looked upon as violating the principle of purpose limitation.
  • Data minimization: The same example of a newsletter company can be used here. When the company gathers data about its customers to deliver the relevant information, they only require their names and email addresses. In such cases, asking for the customer’s job titles would be irrelevant and unnecessary.
  • Accuracy: Sticking to the examples mentioned above. When a customer subscribes to a newsletter company by their organization’s email, they change their job and work at a different company after a while. He would want to change his email to receive news on his new email. Thus, a newsletter company can ask their customers if they will change their email address by giving an option on their website. This would allow the company to store the new email address and delete to old one, following the principle of accuracy. Then the old email would be useless, and the email address of the new company would be required.
  • Storage limitation: When a customer unsubscribes from the newsletter company, this means that they would no longer want to receive news. Thus, in this case, the company should delete the data of the unsubscribe as it would no longer be in use.
  • Integrity and confidentiality: In this case, unauthorized people should not access the data that a newsletter company collects. This includes people in your organization. Furthermore, the company should have systems and measure to prevent data manipulation and attacks against hackers.
  • Accountability: For example, in the scenario of a newsletter company. The customers’ consent to the company would be through either the website or paper. Thus, it should be necessary for the business to maintain the documents and track how permission was given.

Additionally, the firm should teach its authorized employee about not re-using personal data for purposes other than its original intent. By doing both steps mentioned in this bullet point, you can fulfil the principle of accountability.

Benefits of complying with GDPR principles

  • Increased loyalty and trust from customers: Businesses can demonstrate that they care for their customers and their personal data. This will help build trust between the firm and its customers. Improved trust will mean a better display of loyalty and improved customer welfare.
  • Improved data management and security: Implementing GDPR principles reduces the risk of data breaches and hack.
  • Competitive advantage: A business can stand out by following GDPR principles. Giving it a fair advantage above those competitors who don’t take GDPR principles serious.
  • Increased efficiency and productivity: Deleting irrelevant data, will allow the firm to easily manage and handle data. Which improves productivity and efficiency.
  • Reduced risk of non-compliance: As the GDPR principles are must to follow, complying with them means that a business is following the laws. Saving it from the fines and penalties that comes when not following regulations.
  • Better employee engagement: Implying with GDPR creates a culture of data privacy.
  • Improved data accuracy: The GDPR principles ensure that the data is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Better risk management: GDPR principle allows businesses to identify and mitigate potential risks before they become actual problems.
  • Increased data transparency: According to the GDPR, companies must be transparent about their data processing activities, including the reasons why data is processed.
  • Reduced risk of fines and penalties: Following the government regulation would save the business with potential fines and penalties.


The GDPR can sometimes be confusing due to its strict rules and loaded explanations. We hope this article has made it easier for you to understand the principles of GDPR. Breaking down these principles and the examples of these principles will allow you to have a better understanding of what exactly GDPR compliance means.

Ultimately, GDPR compliance protects customers’ privacy and ensures their data is utilized. The seven principles of GDPR work together to ensure data safety, and a business must follow these rules. Following these principles means that a firm is complying with the laws and regulations, which can benefit them in the long run.