What is (special) personal data?

Personal data means any information which ‘directly or indirectly traces back to a person’.

Examples include your name, date of birth, address and telephone number. Student ID numbers and AUAS email addresses are also considered personal data, as these provide access to other personal data such as a person's date of birth, address, academic results and so on.

The GDPR distinguishes between ‘personal data’ and ‘special personal data’. Special categories of personal data relate to details which are extra-sensitive in nature. These specifically include:

  • Data revealing racial or ethnic origin
  • Political opinions
  • Religious or ideological beliefs
  • Trade union membership
  • Genetic and biometric data used to identify a person
  • Data concerning health
  • Data concerning a person's sexual conduct or sexual orientation
  • Criminal data

The processing of special personal data is prohibited, unless a specific exemption applies or the data subject has given explicit consent for the data to be processed.

Published by  Communication 24 October 2022