Out-Law News | 22 Aug 2019 | 2:30 pm | 2 min. read
Businesses should take heed of a recent Instagram hoax and review their processes for handling data subject requests, a data protection law expert has said.
Dublin-based Hannah Hassell of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said that many organisations may be unprepared to deal with increased data subject requests under the GDPR, particularly when exercised though informal channels.
The GDPR provides data subjects with a right to object to organisations processing their personal data in certain circumstances. Individuals have an absolute right to object to and stop the processing of their personal data for direct marketing purposes, but the right to object to other forms of processing is limited to specific circumstances under the GDPR.
The right to object to processing applies where organisations are processing the data in pursuit of a legitimate interest or for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. In the 'legitimate interest' cases, organisations receiving such objections must be able to show that their compelling legitimate interests in continuing the processing override the interests or the fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject.
"The hoax serves as a timely reminder to organisations that data subject requests can be made through a variety of formats, and even through unconventional channels," she said. "Businesses should therefore be wary to treat any and all objections to processing seriously, whether they are expressed verbally, written formally and submitted through conventional communication channels like email, or even where a customer tags an organisation's social media account in a public post as occurred in the Instagram hoax."
"Businesses should likewise be aware that data rights requests might come to anyone in their organisation, and not just through channels set up for that purpose, so all staff should be trained on channelling those requests through the correct internal processes," she said.
03 May 2018