What personal data are

Personal data is “any information concerning an identified or identifiable natural person” that in the Regulation is called “data subject” of the processing.

The Regulation deals only with data interesting natural persons and not legal ones.

“Personal data” is a very wide concept and concerns any information somehow linked to a natural person – which can be identified by the name or in other ways, by a picture for example.

Also information allowing to identify a person indirectly such as the phone number, the number plate or the tax registration number is considered personal data.

Also pseudonymised data, that is data rendered anonymous for which there could be the reasonable probability to be attributed to a natural person by the use of additional information, taking into account the cost and the time needed for the tracking are subjected to the Regulation.

For the processing of the so-called big data, it is possible to resort to pseudonymisation in order to process them in an anonymous form for statistical data or scientific research, but they are anyway subjected to the application of the Regulation.

In particular, the processing of these masses of data require special cautions, for instance codes allowing to backtrace to the “anonymized” person (the so-called singling out) should be stored separately and protected by particular technical measures.

Anonymous data, those that cannot be irreversibly related to a natural person, are the only not concerned by the Regulation.

Personal data may be generic or sensitive. For the latter there is a particular processing.

Sensitive data reveal racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic and biometric data, data concerning health, sex life or sexual orientation.

All other pieces of information related to an identified or identifiable natural person are generic data.

Information related to someone’s the financial situation is considered a non-sensitive data.

A special processing affects judicial data related to criminal convictions.