Transparency is fundamentally linked to fairness. Transparent processing is about being clear, open and honest with people from the start about who you are, and how and why you use their personal data.

Transparency is always important, but especially in situations where individuals have a choice about whether they wish to enter into a relationship with you. If individuals know at the outset what you will use their information for, they will be able to make an informed decision about whether to enter into a relationship, or perhaps to try to renegotiate the terms of that relationship.

Transparency is important even when you have no direct relationship with the individual and collect their personal data from another source. In some cases, it can be even more important - as individuals may have no idea that you are collecting and using their personal data, and this affects their ability to assert their rights over their data. This is sometimes known as ‘invisible processing’.

You must ensure that you tell individuals about your processing in a way that is easily accessible and easy to understand. You must use clear and plain language.

For more detail on your transparency obligations and the privacy information you must provide to individuals, see our guidance on transparency.

NOTE: see the transitional arrangements for the transparency requirement