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Data minimisation

Video 224 of 250
1 min 27 sec
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GDPR Compliance: Principle of Data Minimisation


The principle of data minimisation states:

“Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed.”

Comparison with the 1998 Data Protection Act

Similar to the third principle of adequacy in the 1998 Data Protection Act.

Key Differences under GDPR

Under GDPR:

  • Demonstration: Must demonstrate appropriate processes to collect only necessary data.
  • Assessment: Assess data held to determine necessity for processing.
  • Unlawful Holding: Holding unnecessary data for longer than necessary may be unlawful.

Compliance Guidelines

Guidelines for compliance:

  • Assessment: Assess data held to ensure relevance to processing purposes.
  • Collection: Only collect data necessary for processing purposes.
  • Justification: Justify each type of data processed to ensure necessity.


Failure to demonstrate assessment of minimum necessary data may breach the accountability principle.


Ensure compliance by:

  • Request: Do not request unnecessary information.
  • Documentation: Make a list of processed data and justify each type.