Suppose, a scientist is planning to publish a paper, and his email address will be printed on it. I'm wondering, if the European General Data Protection Regulation would be relevant in that case.

According to Article 13, one has to inform anyone whose personal data is collected:

  1. Where personal data relating to a data subject are collected from the data subject, the controller shall, at the time when personal data are obtained, provide the data subject with all of the following information: (...)

Article 4 explains, what "personal data" means:

‘personal data’ means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier (...)

(Source: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32016R0679)

Mail addresses are probably personal data, and if someone writes an email to the contact address that's on the paper, his address (as well as the mail itself) will be stored in the email-account of the scientist. Therefore, personal data would be processed. Does the scientist have to inform about that (according to Article 13)? And how should he do that?


Point 4 of the same article 13 states:

Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 shall not apply where and insofar as the data subject already has the information

It is up to a judge to decide, but I would expect any of them to conclude that any e-mail user already knows that the value he configures in his e-mail as sender address will appear to the recipient of whatever e-mail he sends.

  • But he doesn't know for how long it will be stored. Article 13 also states, that one has to inform about "(...) the period for which the personal data will be stored, or if that is not possible, the criteria used to determine that period;"
    – Me223
    Aug 31 '18 at 21:34

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