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Tuesday, 27th May 2014

Europe: Opinion 06/2014 on the notion of legitimate interests of the data controller under Article 7 of Directive 95/46/EC

Source: Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (EU)

From Executive Summary:

This Opinion analyses the criteria set down in Article 7 of Directive 95/46/EC for making data processing legitimate. Focusing on the legitimate interests of the controller, it provides guidance on how to apply Article 7(f) under the current legal framework and makes recommendations for future improvements.

Article 7(f) is the last of six grounds for the lawful processing of personal data. In effect it requires a balancing of the legitimate interests of the controller, or any third parties to whom the data are disclosed, against the interests or fundamental rights of the data subject. The outcome of this balancing test will determine whether Article 7(f) may be relied upon as a legal ground for processing.

The WP29 recognises the significance and usefulness of the Article 7(f) criterion, which in the right circumstances and subject to adequate safeguards may help prevent over-reliance on other legal grounds. Article 7(f) should not be treated as ‘a last resort’ for rare or unexpected situations where other grounds for legitimate processing are deemed not to apply. However, it should not be automatically chosen, or its use unduly extended on the basis of a perception that it is less constraining than the other grounds.

+ Direct link to document (PDF; 991 KB)



Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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