# OECD Privacy Guidelines

# Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Initialisms

Short Form Full Form
OECD Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

# Overview

The Recommendation concerning Guidelines Governing the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data ("Privacy Guidelines") was adopted by the OECD Council on 23 September 1980 ("1980 Guidelines"). The 1980 Guidelines were adopted to address concerns arising from the increased use of personal data and the risk to global economies resulting from restrictions to the flow of information across borders. They represent the first internationally agreed-upon set of privacy principles and have influenced legislation and policy in OECD Member countries and beyond. Framed in concise, technology-neutral language, they have proven remarkably adaptable to technological and societal changes. Nevertheless, they were updated on 11 July 2013 due to changes in personal data usage, as well as new approaches to privacy protection. The Recommendation aims to promote and protect the fundamental values of privacy, individual liberties and the global free flow of information to foster the development of economic and social relations among Adherents.

Several new concepts have been introduced in the revised guidelines, including:

  • National privacy strategies.
  • Privacy management programs.
  • Data security breach notification.

# Principles

The OECD Privacy Guidelines include the following basic principles of national application:

  • Collection Limitation Principle
  • Data Quality Principle
  • Purpose Specification Principle
  • Use Limitation Principle
  • Security Safeguards Principle
  • Openness Principle
  • Individual Participation Principle
  • Accountability Principle

There should be limits to the collection of personal data and any such data should be obtained by lawful and fair means and, where appropriate, with the knowledge or consent of the data subject.

Personal data should be relevant to the purposes for which they are to be used, and, to the extent necessary for those purposes, should be accurate, complete and kept up to date.

The purposes for which personal data are collected should be specified not later than at the time of data collection and the subsequent use limited to the fulfilment of those purposes or such others as are not incompatible with those purposes and as are specified on each occasion of change of purpose.

Personal data should not be disclosed, made available or otherwise used for purposes other than those specified except:

  1. with the consent of the data subject; or
  2. by the authority of law.

Personal data should be protected by reasonable security safeguards against such risks as loss or unauthorised access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure of data.

There should be a general policy of openness about developments, practices and policies with respect to personal data. Means should be readily available of establishing the existence and nature of personal data, and the main purposes of their use, as well as the identity and usual residence of the data controller.

Individuals should have the right:

  1. to obtain from a data controller, or otherwise, confirmation of whether or not the data controller has data relating to them;
  2. to have communicated to them, data relating to them
    1. within a reasonable time;
    2. at a charge, if any, that is not excessive;
    3. in a reasonable manner; and
    4. in a form that is readily intelligible to them;
  3. to be given reasons if a request made under subparagraphs (a) and (b) is denied, and to be able to challenge such denial; and
  4. to challenge data relating to them and, if the challenge is successful to have the data erased, rectified, completed or amended.

A data controller should be accountable for complying with measures which give effect to the principles stated above.

# Noteworthy

  • The OECD published the first internationally agreed-upon set of privacy principles.
  • The OECD recently published a set of revised guidelines governing the protection of privacy and transborder flows of personal data.
  • The OECD principles do not include "the right to be forgotten."

# Sources