Are opinions about someone personal data?


Key takeaways:
  • An opinion can include personal data.
  • If the opinion is not recorded — GDPR does not apply.
  • If made or recorded for someone’s “purely personal or household” activities, with no connection to a professional or commercial activity, GDPR doesn’t apply.
  • GDPR may apply if the opinion was recorded or published on a medium which falls outside this exemption (such as a public comment on a social media site or commercial publication).
  • Data protection law many not apply to an opinion being expressed about them in a newspaper article or other media — as the publisher may be able to rely on a “journalistic exemption” which allows for publication of the personal data in question.
  • The Data Protection Act 2018 sets out some rules limiting the exercise of an person’s data protection rights regarding opinions about them which are given “in confidence.”
  • Where an opinion is recorded clearly as an opinion, such the recording of a participant’s attitude in someone’s notes of a meeting, then rectification may not be necessary or may simply involve the addition of a clarification.