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Answer

You have the right to object to the processing of your personal data and ask a company/organisation to stop processing your personal data if is being processed for the purpose of:

  • direct marketing;
  • scientific/historical research and statistics;
  • their own legitimate interest or in carrying out a task in the public interest/for an official authority.

If you object to direct marketing, the company must stop using your personal data and comply with your request without asking for a fee.

However, a company/organisation can continue to process your personal data, despite your objections, if:

  • in the case of processing for the purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics, the processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out for reasons of public interest;
  • in the case of processing based on legitimate interests or on the performance of a task in the public interest/exercise of official authority, they can prove that they have compelling legitimate grounds that override your interests, rights and freedoms. Therefore, a balancing exercise is required.

The company should inform you of your right to object when they first make contact with you.

Example

You bought two tickets to see your favourite band play live through an online ticketing company. Afterwards, you are bombarded with adverts for concerts and events that you’re not interested in. You inform the online ticketing service company that you don’t want to receive further advertising material. The company should stop processing your personal data for direct marketing and, shortly afterwards, you should no longer receive emails from them. They shouldn’t charge you for this.

References

  • Articles 7, 12 and 21 and Recitals (69) and (70) of the GDPR