At a glance
- To process personal data about criminal convictions or offences, you must have both a lawful basis under Article 6 and either legal authority or official authority for the processing under Article 10.
- The Data Protection Act 2018 deals with this type of data in a similar way to special category data, and sets out specific conditions providing lawful authority for processing it.
- You can also process this type of data if you have official authority to do so because you are processing the data in an official capacity.
- You cannot keep a comprehensive register of criminal convictions unless you do so in an official capacity.
- You must determine your condition for lawful processing of offence data (or identify your official authority for the processing) before you begin the processing, and you should document this.
- What is criminal offence data?
- What's different about criminal offence data?
- What does Article 10 say?
Article 10 applies to personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences, or related security measures. In this guidance, we refer to this as criminal offence data.
This concept of criminal offence data includes the type of data about criminal allegations, proceedings or convictions that would have been sensitive personal data under the 1998 Act. However, it is potentially broader than this. In particular, Article 10 specifically extends to personal data linked to related security measures.
You must still have a lawful basis for your processing under Article 6, in exactly the same way as for any other personal data. The difference is that if you are processing personal criminal offence data, you will also need to comply with Article 10.
Article 10 says:
“Processing of personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences or related security measures based on Article 6(1) shall be carried out only under the control of official authority or when the processing is authorised by Union or Member State law providing for appropriate safeguards for the rights and freedoms of data subjects. Any comprehensive register of criminal convictions shall be kept only under the control of official authority.”
This means you must either:
- process the data in an official capacity; or
- meet a specific condition in Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 2018, and comply with the additional safeguards set out in that Act. Now that the detail of these provisions has been finalised, we are working on more detailed guidance in this area.
Even if you have a condition for processing offence data, you can only keep a comprehensive register of criminal convictions if you are doing so in an official capacity.