1. L’interessato ha il diritto di non essere sottoposto a una decisione basata unicamente sul trattamento automatizzato, compresa la profilazione, che produca effetti giuridici che lo riguardano o che incida in modo analogo significativamente sulla sua persona.
1. The data subject shall have the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling, which produces legal effects concerning him or her or similarly significantly affects him or her.
2. Il paragrafo 1 non si applica nel caso in cui la decisione:
2. Paragraph 1 shall not apply if the decision:
(EN) Paragraph 1 of this article laid down a general ban on the use of automated decision-making that has legal or similarly significant effects (as mentioned above). This prohibition is intended to serve as a safeguard, ensuring that decisions of this kind are not taken without due consideration and oversight.
This implies that the controller should not undertake the processing described in Article 22(1) unless one of the exceptions listed below applies.
a) sia necessaria per la conclusione o l’esecuzione di un contratto tra l’interessato e un titolare del trattamento;
(a) is necessary for entering into, or performance of, a contract between the data subject and a data controller;
(EN) The use of automated decision-making processes for contractual purposes may be the most appropriate way to achieve the desired outcome in certain situations. This is especially true where routine human involvement is impractical or impossible due to the large volume of data. In such instances, it is essential that the controller is able to demonstrate that the processing is necessary, taking into account whether a less privacy-intrusive method could be employed. For example, if there are alternative methods that are equally effective and less intrusive, then automated decision-making is not considered to be ‘necessary’.
Moreover, automated decision-making may also be necessary for pre-contractual processing in accordance with Article 22(1). It is essential that controllers consider the privacy implications of their automated decision-making processes, ensuring that any processing is necessary and proportionate, and that there are sufficient safeguards in place to protect individuals’ data rights.
For instance, it may be necessary to utilize automated decision-making in order to identify a short list of suitable candidates due to the exceptionally high volume of applications received for this open position. This is done with the intention of entering into a contract with the data subject in order to progress the recruitment process.
b) sia autorizzata dal diritto dell’Unione o dello Stato membro cui è soggetto il titolare del trattamento, che precisa altresì misure adeguate a tutela dei diritti, delle libertà e dei legittimi interessi dell’interessato;
(b) is authorised by Union or Member State law to which the controller is subject and which also lays down suitable measures to safeguard the data subject’s rights and freedoms and legitimate interests; or
(EN) Automated decision-making under 22(2)(b) may be allowed by law, with measures to protect data subject rights. Recital 71 notes potential use for fraud/tax evasion prevention, or service security/reliability.
c) si basi sul consenso esplicito dell’interessato.
(c) is based on the data subject’s explicit consent.
(EN) Article 22 of the GDPR makes an exception for using explicit consent for significant automated individual decision-making. This is due to the serious privacy risks posed by such processing and, as such, a higher level of individual control over personal data is deemed appropriate.
However, ‘explicit consent’ is not defined in the GDPR. For this reason, the WP29 guidelines on consent (see the “Related” tab for Art.22(2b)) provide important guidance. These guidelines emphasize that consent must be demonstrated through clear affirmative action, such as ticking a box when visiting an internet website or choosing technical settings for an online service.
3. Nei casi di cui al paragrafo 2, lettere a) e c), il titolare del trattamento attua misure appropriate per tutelare i diritti, le libertà e i legittimi interessi dell’interessato, almeno il diritto di ottenere l’intervento umano da parte del titolare del trattamento, di esprimere la propria opinione e di contestare la decisione.
3. In the cases referred to in points (a) and (c) of paragraph 2, the data controller shall implement suitable measures to safeguard the data subject’s rights and freedoms and legitimate interests, at least the right to obtain human intervention on the part of the controller, to express his or her point of view and to contest the decision.
(EN) According to Art29 Working Party Guidelines on Automated Individual Decision-Making and Profiling for the Purposes of Regulation 2016/679 (2018) the controllers should implement measures that include providing a way for the data subject to obtain human intervention, express their point of view and contest the decision.
Recital 71 further emphasizes the need for transparency around processing, as it outlines that appropriate safeguards should include providing the data subject with specific information and the right to obtain an explanation and to challenge the decision reached after assessment. Furthermore, the controller must provide an easy way for the data subject to exercise these rights, as this ensures they are able to adequately challenge a decision or express their view if they understand how it was made and on what basis.
Errors in data or automated decision-making can lead to wrong classifications and inaccurate projections that can harm individuals. So, controllers should regularly assess their data sets to find any bias, and figure out how to handle any prejudiced elements. Data controllers must regularly review algorithms to ensure accuracy and the absence of bias. Furthermore, they should review the underlying data to guarantee that automated decisions are based on valid and reliable information.
Controllers should establish regular procedures to prevent errors, inaccuracies, and discrimination during both the design and production stages.
The European supervisory authority recommended the following measures in its Guidelines:
4. Le decisioni di cui al paragrafo 2 non si basano sulle categorie particolari di dati personali di cui all’articolo 9, paragrafo 1, a meno che non sia d’applicazione l’articolo 9, paragrafo 2, lettere a) o g), e non siano in vigore misure adeguate a tutela dei diritti, delle libertà e dei legittimi interessi dell’interessato.
4. Decisions referred to in paragraph 2 shall not be based on special categories of personal data referred to in Article 9(1), unless point (a) or (g) of Article 9(2) applies and suitable measures to safeguard the data subject’s rights and freedoms and legitimate interests are in place.
The latest consolidated version of the Regulation with corrections by Corrigendum, OJ L 127, 23.5.2018, p. 2 ((EU) 2016/679). Source: EUR-lex.
Concern: Request to object to automated decision
Dear Madam, Dear Sir,
I am subject to a decision made by your [company | organization | etc.] based solely on [automated processing | profiling | etc.].
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(EN) ISO/IEC 27701, adopted in 2019, added additional ISO/IEC 27002 guidance for PII controllers.
Here is the relevant paragraphs to article 22 GDPR:
7.2.2 Identify lawful basis
The organization should determine, document and comply with the relevant lawful basis for the processing of PII for the identified purposes.
Some jurisdictions require the organization to be able to demonstrate that the lawfulness of processing was duly established before the processing.
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(71) L'interessato dovrebbe avere il diritto di non essere sottoposto a una decisione, che possa includere una misura, che valuti aspetti personali che lo riguardano, che sia basata unicamente su un trattamento automatizzato e che produca effetti giuridici che lo riguardano o incida in modo analogo significativamente sulla sua persona, quali il rifiuto automatico di una domanda di credito online o pratiche di assunzione elettronica senza interventi umani. Tale trattamento comprende la «profilazione», che consiste in una forma di trattamento automatizzato dei dati personali che valuta aspetti personali concernenti una persona fisica, in particolare al fine di analizzare o prevedere aspetti riguardanti il rendimento professionale, la situazione economica, la salute, le preferenze o gli interessi personali, l'affidabilità o il comportamento, l'ubicazione o gli spostamenti dell'interessato, ove ciò produca effetti giuridici che la riguardano o incida in modo analogo significativamente sulla sua persona. Tuttavia, è opportuno che sia consentito adottare decisioni sulla base di tale trattamento, compresa la profilazione, se ciò è espressamente previsto dal diritto dell'Unione o degli Stati membri cui è soggetto il titolare del trattamento, anche a fini di monitoraggio e prevenzione delle frodi e dell'evasione fiscale secondo i regolamenti, le norme e le raccomandazioni delle istituzioni dell'Unione o degli organismi nazionali di vigilanza e a garanzia della sicurezza e dell'affidabilità di un servizio fornito dal titolare del trattamento, o se è necessario per la conclusione o l'esecuzione di un contratto tra l'interessato e un titolare del trattamento, o se l'interessato ha espresso il proprio consenso esplicito. In ogni caso, tale trattamento dovrebbe essere subordinato a garanzie adeguate, che dovrebbero comprendere la specifica informazione all'interessato e il diritto di ottenere l'intervento umano, di esprimere la propria opinione, di ottenere una spiegazione della decisione conseguita dopo tale valutazione e di contestare la decisione. Tale misura non dovrebbe riguardare un minore.
(71) The data subject should have the right not to be subject to a decision, which may include a measure, evaluating personal aspects relating to him or her which is based solely on automated processing and which produces legal effects concerning him or her or similarly significantly affects him or her, such as automatic refusal of an online credit application or e-recruiting practices without any human intervention. Such processing includes ‘profiling’ that consists of any form of automated processing of personal data evaluating the personal aspects relating to a natural person, in particular to analyse or predict aspects concerning the data subject's performance at work, economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests, reliability or behaviour, location or movements, where it produces legal effects concerning him or her or similarly significantly affects him or her. However, decision-making based on such processing, including profiling, should be allowed where expressly authorised by Union or Member State law to which the controller is subject, including for fraud and tax-evasion monitoring and prevention purposes conducted in accordance with the regulations, standards and recommendations of Union institutions or national oversight bodies and to ensure the security and reliability of a service provided by the controller, or necessary for the entering or performance of a contract between the data subject and a controller, or when the data subject has given his or her explicit consent. In any case, such processing should be subject to suitable safeguards, which should include specific information to the data subject and the right to obtain human intervention, to express his or her point of view, to obtain an explanation of the decision reached after such assessment and to challenge the decision. Such measure should not concern a child.
Al fine di garantire un trattamento corretto e trasparente nel rispetto dell'interessato, tenendo in considerazione le circostanze e il contesto specifici in cui i dati personali sono trattati, è opportuno che il titolare del trattamento utilizzi procedure matematiche o statistiche appropriate per la profilazione, metta in atto misure tecniche e organizzative adeguate al fine di garantire, in particolare, che siano rettificati i fattori che comportano inesattezze dei dati e sia minimizzato il rischio di errori e al fine di garantire la sicurezza dei dati personali secondo una modalità che tenga conto dei potenziali rischi esistenti per gli interessi e i diritti dell'interessato e che impedisca tra l'altro effetti discriminatori nei confronti di persone fisiche sulla base della razza o dell'origine etnica, delle opinioni politiche, della religione o delle convinzioni personali, dell'appartenenza sindacale, dello status genetico, dello stato di salute o dell'orientamento sessuale, ovvero che comportano misure aventi tali effetti. Il processo decisionale automatizzato e la profilazione basati su categorie particolari di dati personali dovrebbero essere consentiti solo a determinate condizioni.
In order to ensure fair and transparent processing in respect of the data subject, taking into account the specific circumstances and context in which the personal data are processed, the controller should use appropriate mathematical or statistical procedures for the profiling, implement technical and organisational measures appropriate to ensure, in particular, that factors which result in inaccuracies in personal data are corrected and the risk of errors is minimised, secure personal data in a manner that takes account of the potential risks involved for the interests and rights of the data subject and that prevents, inter alia, discriminatory effects on natural persons on the basis of racial or ethnic origin, political opinion, religion or beliefs, trade union membership, genetic or health status or sexual orientation, or that result in measures having such an effect. Automated decision-making and profiling based on special categories of personal data should be allowed only under specific conditions.
(72) La profilazione è soggetta alle norme del presente regolamento che disciplinano il trattamento dei dati personali, quali le basi giuridiche del trattamento o i principi di protezione dei dati. Il comitato europeo per la protezione dei dati istituito dal presente regolamento («comitato») dovrebbe poter emanare orientamenti in tale contesto.
(72) Profiling is subject to the rules of this Regulation governing the processing of personal data, such as the legal grounds for processing or data protection principles. The European Data Protection Board established by this Regulation (the ‘Board’) should be able to issue guidance in that context.
Article 29 Working Party, Guidelines on Automated Individual Decision-Making and Profiling for the Purposes of Regulation 2016/679 (2018).
European Commission, Commission Guidance on the application of Union data protection law in the electoral context, A contribution from the European Commission to the Leaders’ meeting in Salzburg on 19-20 September (2018).
EDPB, Guidelines 8/2020 on the targeting of social media users (2020).
European Commission, Guidance on Apps supporting the fight against COVID 19 pandemic in relation to data protection Brussels (2020).
ICO, Data sharing: a code of practice (2020).
(EN) The data subject shall have the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling, which produces legal effects concerning him or her or similarly significantly affects him or her. In such cases, the data subject shall have the right to obtain human intervention, to express his or her point of view, to contest the decision and to have it reconsidered.
Scope of the Right
The applicability of this article is limited to automated data processing where the decisions have a big impact on data subjects. According to the Guidelines on Automated individual decision-making and Profiling for the purposes of Regulation 2016/679, this article sets up a general ban on deciding based just on automated processing, regardless of whether or not the data subject takes any action.
In a nutshell, Article 22 states that:
But, the Article 22(1) ban only counts in certain cases where a decision based just on automated processing, including profiling, has a legal effect on or similarly affects someone. Even in these cases, there are specified exceptions which allow such processing to take place.
An automated process can produce a recommendation about a data subject. If a person reviews and takes into account other elements to make the final decision, it won’t be a decision that’s just based on automated processing.
The controller can’t bypass Article 22 requirements by making it look like a human is involved. For example, if someone constantly uses automatically generated profiles for individuals without any actual effect on the result, that’s still a decision based solely on automated processing.
To qualify as human involvement, the controller must make sure that any oversight of the decision is significant, not just a formality. It should be done by someone who can override the decision and has the knowledge to consider all the relevant data.
Even if a decision-making process does not have an effect on people’s legal rights it could still fall within the scope of Article 22 of the GDPR if it produces an effect that is equivalent or similarly significant in its impact. This means that even if there is no legal change, the data subject could still be impacted enough to require the protections under this provision. The GDPR introduces the word ‘similarly’ to the phrase ‘significantly affects’ in order to provide a threshold for significance that is similar to that of a decision producing a legal effect.
A legal effect occurs when a decision based solely on automated processing impacts someone’s legal rights, such as freedom of association, voting, and legal action, or creates legal effects like contract cancellation, entitlement/denial of social benefits, denial of admission to a country of refusal in citizenship.
According to Recital 71, typical examples of other similarly significant effects could include ‘automatic refusal of an online credit application’ or ‘e-recruiting practices without any human intervention’.
For data processing to significantly affect someone the effects of the processing must be great or important enough. This could include decisions that affect someone’s financial circumstances, such as their eligibility for credit; decisions that affect someone’s access to health services; decisions that deny someone an employment opportunity or put them at a serious disadvantage; or decisions that affect someone’s access to education, for example, university admissions.
In many typical cases, the automated decision to present targeted advertising based on profiling will not have a similarly significant effect on individuals. However, it is possible for data profiling to have an effect on individuals depending on the characteristics of the case. This includes the intrusiveness of the profiling process, the expectations and wishes of the individuals, and the knowledge of the vulnerabilities of the data subjects. Even if it has little effect on some individuals, it can have a significant impact on certain groups, such as minority groups or vulnerable adults.
Similarly, automated decision-making that results in differential pricing based on personal data or personal characteristics could also have a significant effect if, for example, prohibitively high prices effectively bar someone from certain goods or services.