ICO releases guidance on how to deal with special category data

The ICO – the GDPR regulator in the UK – this week released guidance about special category data. Special category data is personal data concerning health, sex life, sexual orientation, genetic, racial or ethnic, biometric, or religious/trade union/philosophical/political membership.

The guidance makes clear how special category data should be treated under GDPR.

ICO says that special category data should be processed if an explicit consent is given. And here are the 3 conditions for the consent:

  • explicit consent must be confirmed in a clear statement (whether oral or written), rather than by any other type of affirmative action;
  • it must specify the nature of the special category data; and
  • it should be separate from any other consents you are seeking.

This week, Google announced that will stop sending contextual information on the bid requests. The contextual information could pass data that identifies users with special category data, like health.


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