Your Right to Object
As a data subject you have the right to object to the processing of personal data concerning you if
- your data is being used for direct marketing
- your data is being used for automated decision making, including profiling, where no human intervention or review will take place
- your data is being used for scientific or historical research
- your data is being used by a data controller for their legitimate interests or in carrying out a task in the public interest
If you object to the processing of your data for direct marketing the data controller must stop processing immediately and comply with your request free of charge.
If you object to your data being processed for scientific or historical research then the controller may still be permitted to continue processing if they can show that the use of your data is necessary for “the performance of a task carried out for reasons of public interest”.
If you object to processing of your personal data under the legitimate interests or performance of a public task legal bases then the data controller may be able to continue using your data if they can demonstrate that it is necessary and their reason for using it outweighs your rights and freedoms.
This right is set out in Article 21 of the GDPR. The full text of the article is at the bottom of this page.
Enforcement in action: In November 2019 the French data protection authority fined a company €500,000 for, among other things, failing to respect the right to object.
Read more elsewhere
‘Can I ask a company/organisation to stop processing my personal data?’, European Commission.
‘The right to object to processing of personal data (Article 21 of the GDPR)’, Data Protection Commission of Ireland
1. The data subject shall have the right to object, on grounds relating to his or her particular situation, at any time to processing of personal data concerning him or her which is based on point (e) or (f) of Article 6(1), including profiling based on those provisions. The controller shall no longer process the personal data unless the controller demonstrates compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override the interests, rights and freedoms of the data subject or for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims. 2. Where personal data are processed for direct marketing purposes, the data subject shall have the right to object at any time to processing of personal data concerning him or her for such marketing, which includes profiling to the extent that it is related to such direct marketing. 3. Where the data subject objects to processing for direct marketing purposes, the personal data shall no longer be processed for such purposes. 4. At the latest at the time of the first communication with the data subject, the right referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be explicitly brought to the attention of the data subject and shall be presented clearly and separately from any other information. 5. In the context of the use of information society services, and notwithstanding Directive 2002/58/EC, the data subject may exercise his or her right to object by automated means using technical specifications. 6. Where personal data are processed for scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes pursuant to Article 89(1), the data subject, on grounds relating to his or her particular situation, shall have the right to object to processing of personal data concerning him or her, unless the processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out for reasons of public interest.
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