Skip main navigation

The GDPR for data subjects

In this article, Jonida Milaj-Weishaar puts in perspective the main rights that the GDPR gives to data subjects.
© University of Groningen

As individuals or natural persons, you should know that most of the activities that you daily perform, all the forms that you are asked to fill in and most of the technology that you use on a daily basis leave a trail of personal data behind. Collecting data, analysing and linking different databases create the possibility to learn very personal information about you and obtain details about your life and life of those who you care about. More than you would have ever thought. More than you even remember. To give but one example: 4 pictures of you placed on the Internet allow facial recognition programs to find you again when crossing the street. Given this situation, you need protection.

The adoption of the GDPR constitutes a significant step forward in the area of personal data protection within the EU. The Regulation aspires to achieve the harmonisation of data protection laws and regulations across the EU Member States so as to ensure that all individuals enjoy an adequate degree of protection. The Regulation does not strive for the highest possible degree of protection so arguably Member States could do even more to protect the rights of individuals.

As data subjects, you are now aware of the rights that you have . But as always in order to give life to the letter of the law, you do not only need to know that a right exists but you also need to claim it actively. The GDPR includes a number of provisions to facilitate the exercise of your rights and to receive effective protection by national supervisory authorities as well as by the judicial system. Make use of your rights to bring about a change in the behavior of controllers and processors – public enforcement cannot do it alone.

In this link, you can find the contact details of the Data Protection Authority in your Member State.

© University of Groningen
This article is from the free online

Understanding the GDPR

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education