Are opinions about someone personal data?
Ireland’s Data Protection Commission explains.
- 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.