What is Personal and Private Personal Data? Personal Data Examples

What is Personal Data and Special Quality Personal Data Examples
What is Personal Data and Special Categories of Personal Data Examples

With the effect of advancing technology, the concept of personal data has a much larger place today than in the past. Access to information is becoming more comfortable day by day, making personal data more vulnerable. For this reason, it is now of great importance to protect the confidentiality of all personal information. It is necessary to know which data is considered personal data, how to prevent unauthorized use of this data, and to be aware of where this information is used in daily life. As a matter of fact, personal data can be used for malicious purposes if it falls into the wrong hands.

What is Personal Data?

Personal data is defined as “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person”. In this context, the most common examples such as name and home address, as well as information such as resume and fingerprints are personal data. It is illegal to record and process all data matching this definition without the explicit consent of the person concerned; However, in some exceptional cases, it is possible to process personal data without seeking the explicit consent of the person concerned.

What is Private Personal Data?

Some of the personal data are considered to be more valuable and need to be protected more than others. This group of information is called special categories of personal data.

Race, religious belief, ethnic origin, biometric and genetic data are some of the examples that can be given for sensitive personal data. These data are considered more important than other personal data and more emphasis is placed on the protection of this data.

Special categories of personal data can only be processed with the explicit consent of the person concerned and in limited cases listed in the Personal Data Protection Law. At the same time, any crime that may be committed regarding this data has greater criminal penalties than misuse of other personal data.

What is KVKK?

In the Republic of Turkey, the personal data of every citizen is protected by the Personal Data Protection Law (KVKK). According to this law numbered 6698, all actions such as recording, storing or changing personal data in any way are considered as data processing. The processed data can be recorded in a digital environment in a system known as a database or data recording system, or physically.

In order for personal data to be collected, recorded, processed and transferred, at least one of the conditions in Article 5 of the KVKK must be met. The first is explicit consent.

Explicit consent is a decision that a person makes of his own free will. In other words, consent cannot be obtained from individuals by making financial promises or threatening to record and process their personal data. A verbal or written statement that you accept the processing of personal data is considered as express consent. The institution that processes personal data and obtains explicit consent must notify the person concerned for what purpose it has received this data.

For example, while shopping online, many personal data are processed into the database of shopping platforms. Before making a payment, customers are asked to read the text on KVKK, examine the purposes for which their data is collected and how their confidentiality will be ensured, and approve the text. The platform's transparency regarding these processes also increases its reputation in the eyes of customers.

The conditions required by Article 5 of the law in order to process personal data after express consent are as follows:

  • provision of law,
  • Performance of the contract,
  • actual impossibility,
  • Legal responsibility of the data controller,
  • Giving publicity,
  • Legitimate interest,
  • Establishment, protection and use of the right.

An example of the processing of personal data for the purpose of law is that business owners create personal files for each employee they employ in accordance with the Labor Law and include the identity information of the persons in these files.

Personal Data Examples

Individuals may be in a dilemma about which information belonging to them is accepted as personal data. The answer to the question of what is personal data is of great importance in making this distinction and protecting data. The following items include the most frequently asked personal data examples and the reasons why these items are considered personal data.

  • Is TR Identity Number Personal Data?

Since a person's TR identity number is one of the information that determines the identity of the person, it is considered as a personal data that must be protected. However, the passport number is also a personal data.

  • Is Photo Personal Data?

Within the scope of KVKK, all visual and/or audio recordings, including photographs, that identify or make the person identifiable, are considered personal data. Therefore, photos, videos or audio recordings cannot be recorded or used without the consent of the person concerned.

  • Does Phone Number Count as Personal Data?

Phone numbers are also considered as personal data, since any information that enables direct contact with the person and identifies the person is personal data.

  • Is IP Address Personal Data?

All information that helps to identify a person is defined as personal data. Since IP addresses are used to track the user and reveal location information on the internet, they are considered as personal data and must be protected.

  • Is E-Mail Address Personal Data?

Yes, a person's e-mail address is considered personal data as it makes the person identifiable.

  • Is Credit Card Personal Data?

Credit card number, expiration date and CVV number are also considered as personal data since they are related to a natural person.

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