You are here:
'Special category' data under the UK GDPR
The UK GDPR classifies some data as 'special category', meaning it's sensitive and needs more protection. Read on to find out what kind of data is defined this way, and the conditions you can use to justify why you need to process it.
What counts as 'special category' data?
'Special category' data is personal data that's more sensitive because there could be significant risks posed to an individual's rights and freedoms if it's lost or stolen. Therefore, this kind of data needs more protection.
It includes personal data that reveals:
- Racial or ethnic origin
- Political opinions
- Religious or philosophical beliefs
- Trade union membership
And data concerning:
- Genetic information
- Biometrics (such as fingerprints, retina and iris patterns), where used for identification purposes
- Health – physical or mental
- Sex life
- Sexual orientation
Information that reveals details about an individual, could be for example:
- The name and gender of a person's spouse, which would reveal the person's sexual orientation
- A photograph, which could reveal some of the above characteristics of a person
Conditions for processing special category data
In order to lawfully process special
The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.