The new DPC website is currently under construction. Our latest guidance in relation to GDPR, which comes into effect on 25th May, 2018, can be found at gdprandyou.ie and via pages on this website starting with "NEW" as per the navigation pane on the left. All other material on this site relates to the previous legislative regime under the Data Protection Acts 1988-2003 ("the Acts"). While the Acts may continue to apply in some circumstances, as of 25th May, 2018 the GDPR is the primary piece of legislation governing data protection.

Data Protection Commission

Data Protection Rule 6

Adequate, relevant and not excessive


"the data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they were collected or are further processed"
        - section 2(1)(c)(iii) of the Act

The personal data you keep should be enough to enable you to achieve your purpose, and no more. You have no business collecting or keeping personal information that you do not need, "just in case" a use can be found for the data in the future. You should not ask intrusive or personal questions, if the information obtained in this way has no bearing on the specified purpose for which you hold personal data.

Adequate, relevant and not excessive personal data: Test Yourself

You should be able to answer YES to the following questions:-

  • Is the personal information I hold really necessary for my business?
  • Am I asking people to provide me with just the information I need, and no more?
  • Do I have a good reason for asking people sensitive or personal questions?
Practical steps

Decide on specific criteria by which to decide what is adequate, relevant, and not excessive.

Apply those criteria to each information item and the purposes for which it is held.

Some Case Studies relevant to this topic:

The following Case Studies, which have appeared in Annual reports of the Data Protection Commissioner over recent years, may be of some interest. Click on the Case Study details to see the full text.

CASE STUDIES - Excessive Information


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