personal data [English]

Language Notes

Used primarily in European Commission documents.

Syndetic Relationships

InterPARES Definition

n. ~ Any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person ('data subject') . . . who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identification number or to one or more factors specific to his physical, physiological, mental, economic, cultural or social identity (EU Council Directive 1995/46/EC, 1995).

Other Definitions


  • ECJ 2014 (†697 ): Under EU law, personal data can only be gathered legally under strict conditions, for a legitimate purpose. Furthermore, persons or organisations which collect and manage your personal information must protect it from misuse and must respect certain rights of the data owners which are guaranteed by EU law. ¶ Every day within the EU, businesses, public authorities and individuals transfer vast amounts of personal data across borders. Conflicting data protection rules in different countries would disrupt international exchanges. Individuals might also be unwilling to transfer personal data abroad if they were uncertain about the level of protection in other countries. ¶ Therefore, common EU rules have been established to ensure that your personal data enjoys a high standard of protection everywhere in the EU. You have the right to complain and obtain redress if your data is misused anywhere within the EU. (†1587)
  • Greenway 2009 (†514 ): The [UK] Data Protection Act defines personal data as, any data which can be used to identify a living person. It applies only to that data which is held, or intended to be held, on computers ('equipment operating automatically in response to instructions given for that purpose'), or held in a 'relevant filing system'. (†1608)