UK GDPR: ‘lawful basis’ for processing personal data

Under the UK GDPR, you must identify a lawful basis (or legal reason) you can use to justify the specific purpose for processing personal data. Use our guidance to work out which of the 6 lawful bases to use and avoid wasting time seeking consent you don't need.

Last reviewed on 21 April 2023
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School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 34542
Contents
  1. You must identify a lawful basis to process personal data 
  2. A summary of each basis
  3. Use the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)'s self-assessment tool to identify which basis you can use
  4. Your guide to completing the self-assessment 
  5. Additional conditions for special category and criminal offence data
  6. Once you've identified your lawful basis

You must identify a lawful basis to process personal data 

For all data processing activity you do under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), you must identify a 'lawful basis' to justify the specific purpose for processing personal data.

If you use the same set of data for more than 1 purpose, you must identify a legal basis for each specific purpose.

You'll have to decide which basis to use on each occasion, based on the context and details of your processing activities.

Your processing must always be ‘necessary' and 'proportionate’

This follows the 7 principles of data processing under the UK GDPR – get further details