Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

The EU Article 29 Working Party’s guidance on the ‘legitimate interests’ ground for processing personal data

By Steven P Farmer

If a data controller does not have the consent of a data subject to process his or her data, when does the ‘legitimate interest’ condition bite?

These are the million-dollar questions that the many EU entities (as well as those farther afield) that process data grapple with on a daily basis.

The EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) sets out six grounds on which EU data controllers can lawfully process personal data. In addition to consent, the processing being ‘necessary’ for the performance of a contract and so on, Article 7(f ) of the Directive also lists ‘legitimate interests’ as a basis for lawful processing of personal data…

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