Data Subject

Definition & Meaning:

A Data Subject is any individual whose personal data is collected, held, or processed by an organization. This can be a customer, employee, client, or any person whose data is used by the organization for various purposes.

For example, if you sign up for an online newsletter, you become a data subject because the website collects and processes your email address.

The term is widely used in data protection and privacy legislation, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union.

It grants data subjects specific rights regarding their personal data.

These rights include the right to access their data, the right to have incorrect data corrected, the right to have their data erased, and the right to object to the processing of their data.

Data Subjects play a central role in data protection frameworks because these laws are designed to safeguard their privacy and control over their personal information.

For instance, if a data subject believes their data is being mishandled, they have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority.

Organizations must ensure they handle data subjects’ information transparently and securely and comply with applicable laws.

This involves providing clear information about what data is collected, for what purpose, and how long it will be retained. Additionally, data subjects must be informed about how they can exercise their rights regarding their data.

In practice, being aware of your rights as a data subject helps you to make informed decisions about who you share your personal information with and for what purposes.

For organizations, understanding the concept of the data subject is essential for designing data processing activities that respect individuals’ privacy and comply with legal obligations.