Personal data

Data protection legislation regulates the processing of personal data about living individuals (data subjects).

Personal data is any information relating to a data subject who can be identified, directly or indirectly, by that information including: 

  • Name
  • Staff or student number
  • Location or contact data
  • Online identifier such as IP addresses or cookies
  • Pseudonymised data
  • Any factors specific to physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural, or social identity

Personal data may occur in any format or context where the identifiable data subject is the focus of, or particularly relevant to, the data, including:

  • expressions of opinion about an individual
  • indications of any intentions in respect of an individual
  • paper, card, CCTV screen or recording media, or stored in a filing cabinet or in any IT system
  • held in an e-mail, letter, minutes, reference, card index, database record, etc.

Personal data can only be processed if a relevant lawful basis for processing is identified and met. 

There is a sub-category of personal data called special categories of personal data, where additional processing conditions apply.