Boddy Matthews

  Boddy Matthews  

Do I need consent to process personal data?


It is a common misconception that you need consent to process personal data. Consent is just one lawful ground to allow processing of personal data. There are a number of other lawful grounds for processing personal data. If relying on consent, there are specific rules for obtaining and processing data. However consent can be easily withdrawn. You should therefore consider if there are other lawful grounds in addition to consent or in place of consent which enable you t process the personal data.


When relying on consent to process data, see our key points to remember below:

  • consent is active, and does not rely on silence or inactivity or pre-ticked boxes;
  • consent to processing is distinguishable, clear, and is not “bundled” with other written agreements or declarations;
  • supply of services is not made contingent on consent to processing which is not necessary for the service being supplied;
  • data subjects are informed that they have the right to withdraw consent at any time but that this will not affect the lawfulness of processing based on consent before its withdrawal;
  • there are simple methods for withdrawing consent, including methods using the same medium used to obtain consent in the first place; e.g. consent by email can be withdrawn by email;
  • separate consents are obtained for distinct processing operations;
  • consent is not relied on where there is a clear imbalance between the data subject and the controller;
  • Consent is kept under review and is refreshed where there is a change of circumstances; and
  • Keep records of consent or other relevant information evidencing processing grounds (e.g. when, where, how was the ground relied on – and in the case of consent, what was said).

Office Address


Boddy Matthews Limited
7-11 High Street
Reigate, Surrey




+44 (0) 1737 339838

Chambers / Legal 500


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