Collection Limitation

Definition & Meaning:

Collection limitation is a principle in data protection that stipulates organizations should only collect personal data that is directly relevant and necessary to accomplish a specified purpose.

This means that any data collected must be limited to what is actually needed for the tasks at hand or for what has been explicitly consented to by the individual.

For instance, if you sign up for a fitness app, it may require your age, weight, and activity level to personalize your fitness program, but it shouldn’t ask for unrelated information like your political views or religious beliefs.

The idea behind collection limitation is to safeguard individuals’ privacy by ensuring that only the minimum amount of personal data is collected.

This principle also helps organizations remain transparent and build trust with users by showing that they are committed to respecting users’ privacy and only gathering what is essential.

Moreover, limiting data collection reduces the risk of harm in the event of a data breach, as less personal information would be exposed.

For the collection limitation principle to be effectively implemented, organizations need to define the purpose of data collection beforehand clearly.

This involves specifying why the data is needed and how it will be used. Once the purpose is defined, only data that is necessary to fulfill that purpose should be collected.

It’s also important for organizations to regularly review the data they hold and delete any information that is no longer needed for the specified purpose.

In practice, adherence to the collection limitation principle means that when you provide your personal data to an organization, you can be assured it’s only collecting what is necessary.

You should expect clear communication about why your data is being collected and confidence that any additional, unnecessary data will not be requested.