How long can companies keep personal data?

Personal data may only be processed for as long as is necessary to fulfill the purposes of the processing. All legal bases (which give you the right to process personal data) have an end date. When you no longer have a legal basis to support the processing on, you are obliged to delete the personal data.

What is important to know how long companies can store personal data?

  • Knowing when personal data should be deleted is fundamental for you to comply with the GDPR.

  • The GDPR requires that personal data be accurate and up-to-date.

  • It is also important to know what personal data you need to save - deleting the wrong personal data can mean that you violate the GDPR.

What do you need to do?

You are obliged to delete the personal data when:

  • The personal data are no longer needed for the purposes for which they were collected.

  • The processing is based on a consent that the data subject has withdrawn.

  • A legal obligation no longer requires you to save the personal data (accounting law, labor law, etc.).

  • You will be asked to stop processing personal data for direct marketing.

  • You support the treatment on a balance of interests and a registered object to the treatment (it is difficult to justify that your interest weighs heavier if the person does not think so)

Common mistakes when processing personal data

  • In some cases, the personal data is saved in the light of the reasoning that they can be "good to have". Since you may only process personal data to fulfill a specific purpose, this is a "big no no" according to the GDPR.

  • It is important to remember not to use personal data for purposes other than those collected for "when you still have them".

  • If you save personal data for, for example, accounting purposes, you may only use these to fulfill that purpose during the period required by the Accounting Act.

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