Further Reading: Special category personal data

Special category personal data, often referred to as sensitive personal data, is a subset of personal data

Examples of sensitive personal data are as follows:

  • personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs;
  • trade-union membership;
  • genetic data, biometric data processed solely to identify a human being;
  • health-related data;
  • data concerning a person’s sex life or sexual orientation.

Section 205 of the DPA 2018 provides general interpretation of biometric data and genetic data

Due to its sensitivity, there are additional processing controls regarding the processing of sensitive personal data

Processing of Criminal Convictions data falls into a separate category. There must be a lawful basis of processing AND either legal authority or official authority for processing. The DPA 2018 treats criminal conviction data in a similar way to special category data, and sets out specific conditions providing lawful authority for processing it


Article 4(13), (14) and (15) and Article 9 and Recitals (51) to (56) of the GDPR

Article 10 and Recital (50)

Section 205 of the DPA 2018 Sections 10 DPA and Schedule 1 Parts 1,2,3 and 4