The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and GDPR are pivotal frameworks in the UK, ensuring robust standards in handling personal data and upholding individuals’ rights.

Understanding Personal Data


Personal data pertains to information that identifies individuals. Suppliers must transparently demonstrate the origin, lawful basis, and compliance with current GDPR standards in acquiring and processing such data.

Differentiating Between Roles: Data Controller vs. Data Processor


It is essential for organizations involved in data processing to distinguish between:

  • Data Controllers: Responsible for determining the purposes and methods of processing personal data.
  • Data Processors: Engaged in processing data on behalf of controllers.

Shared Responsibility Under GDPR

All entities in the data processing chain, including controllers and processors, bear responsibility for safeguarding personal data.

Choosing Between Data Collector and Data Aggregator

Establishing data provenance is critical. Preferentially collaborate directly with data collectors; if using intermediaries, ensure they provide thorough documentation on data origins and compliance with due diligence protocols.

Due Diligence and Ongoing Compliance

Mandatory completion of due diligence forms by suppliers should be supplemented with continuous compliance monitoring to ensure adherence to regulatory requirements.

Requirements for Consent

Under GDPR, consent must be freely given, specific, informed, and involve a clear affirmative action by the individual.

Third Party Consent and Legitimate Interests

Third-party consent requires explicit naming of the third party as per GDPR guidelines. Legitimate Interests may serve as an alternative basis, requiring a detailed Legitimate Interests Assessment to justify data processing.

Withdrawal and Right to be Forgotten

Consumers must have easy access to withdraw consent without any detriment. However, the right to erasure does not entail complete data deletion, as some minimal data may be retained to ensure non-communication upon request.

GDPR Compliance and Consequences

Non-compliance with GDPR may lead to substantial fines, underscoring the necessity for diligent supplier selection and adherence to data protection standards.

Regulatory Oversight

Organizations handling personal data are subject to oversight by regulatory bodies such as the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Direct Marketing Association, ensuring adherence to industry standards and best practices.

For comprehensive guidance on data protection principles and compliance, please refer to ICO’s detailed guide.

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