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Answer

Generally speaking, in cases where it’s unclear whether and when personal data will have to be deleted, you may exercise your right to restriction of processing. That right can be exercised when:

  • the accuracy of the data in question is contested;
  • you don’t want the data to be erased;
  • the data is no longer needed for the original purpose but may not be deleted yet because of legal grounds;
  • the decision on your objection to processing is pending.

‘Restriction’ means that your personal data may, with the exception of storage, only be processed with your consent for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, for the protection of the rights of another natural or legal person or for reasons of public interest of the EU or of an EU Member State.  You must be informed before the restriction is lifted.

Example

A new bank on the domestic market offers good home loan deals. You are buying a new house and so decide to switch banks. You ask the ‘old’ bank to close down all accounts and request to have all your personal details deleted. The old bank, however, is subject to a law obliging banks to store all customer details for 10 years. The old bank is legally obliged to store your data but you  can still ask for restriction of the data to make sure that it’s not accidentally used for unwanted purposes.

References

  • Article 18 and Recital (73) of the GDPR