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General principles for personal data processing

Article 5 of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) includes general principles for how personal data is to be processed. These principles act as guidelines for how you are to process personal data.

Data minimisation

“Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed.”

This means that you are only to use the personal data that is required for the task in question.

Storage limitation

“Personal data is not to be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data is processed.”

This means that you are not to save personal data for longer than is necessary. When you no longer require the data, it is to be archived (but not saved locally) or erased. There is an exception, however, for archiving and research.

You can read more about archiving on the Records management page, which you will reach by clicking on this link (opens in the same window)

Using existing personal data

“Personal data is to be collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes.”

This means that you cannot use personal data to which you have access for a new purpose without reviewing the legal basis and informing the data subject. If you are unsure, contact the University’s data protection officer.

Personal data is to be kept up to date

 “Personal data is to be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.”

This means that if you collect and store personal data you must ensure that it is kept up to date.

Personal data is to be archived

The exception to the principle of storage limitation for archiving means that Swedish laws and regulations on archiving are to be followed. Personal data is to be archived in the same way and according to the same regulations as all other information.

The principle of public access to official records applies

The Swedish Data Protection Act states that the Freedom of the Press Act and Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression apply. This means that laws and regulations about official documents and confidentiality also apply to personal data.


Lund University has an external Data Protection Officer; Secure State Cyber AB and the contact person at Secure State Cyber AB is Sanja Hebib.

Do you have questions regarding data protection - please contact:

dataskyddsombud [at] lu [dot] se