GDPR > Article 34. Communication of a personal data breach to the data subject
Download PDF

Article 34 GDPR. Communication of a personal data breach to the data subject

1. When the personal data breach is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons, the controller shall communicate the personal data breach to the data subject without undue delay.

2. The communication to the data subject referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall describe in clear and plain language the nature of the personal data breach and contain at least the information and measures referred to in points (b), (c) and (d) of Article 33(3).


3. The communication to the data subject referred to in paragraph 1 shall not be required if any of the following conditions are met:

(a) the controller has implemented appropriate technical and organisational protection measures, and those measures were applied to the personal data affected by the personal data breach, in particular those that render the personal data unintelligible to any person who is not authorised to access it, such as encryption;

(b) the controller has taken subsequent measures which ensure that the high risk to the rights and freedoms of data subjects referred to in paragraph 1 is no longer likely to materialise;

(c) it would involve disproportionate effort. In such a case, there shall instead be a public communication or similar measure whereby the data subjects are informed in an equally effective manner.

4. If the controller has not already communicated the personal data breach to the data subject, the supervisory authority, having considered the likelihood of the personal data breach resulting in a high risk, may require it to do so or may decide that any of the conditions referred to in paragraph 3 are met.

ISO 27701 Recitals Guidelines & Case Law Leave a comment
ISO 27701

ISO/IEC 27701, adopted in 2019, added a requirement additional to ISO/IEC 27002, section 16.1.1.

Here is the relevant paragraph to article 34 GDPR: Responsibilities and procedures

Implementation guidance

As part of the overall information security incident management process, the organization should establish responsibilities and procedures for the identification and recording of breaches of PII. Additionally, the organization should establish responsibilities and procedures related to notification to required parties of PII breaches (including the timing of such notifications) and the disclosure to authorities, taking into account the applicable legislation and/or regulation.


to read the full text


(85) Нарушение безопасности персональных данных, если оно не было надлежащим образом и вовремя устранено, может повлечь физический, материальный или моральный вред физическим лицам, как, например, потеря контроля над их персональными данными или ограничение их прав, дискриминация, кража личности или ее мошенническое использование, финансовые потери, несанкционированная повторная идентификация псевдонимизированных данных, ущерб репутации, нарушение конфиденциальности персональных данных, защищенных профессиональной тайной, или любой другой значительный экономический или социальный вред, нанесенный физическому лицу. Поэтому, как только контролёру становится известно о нарушении безопасности персональных данных, он обязан уведомить о таком нарушении надзорный орган без неоправданной задержки и, по возможности, не позднее 72 часов, за исключением случаев, когда контролёр может подтвердить, в соответствии с принципом подотчетности, что нарушение безопасности персональных данных с малой вероятностью может представлять риск нарушения прав и свобод физических лиц. В случаях, когда подобное уведомление не может быть сделано в течение 72 часов, причины такой задержки должны сопровождать уведомление и информация может предоставляться поэтапно без дополнительной задержки.

(86) The controller should communicate to the data subject a personal data breach, without undue delay, where that personal data breach is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of the natural person in order to allow him or her to take the necessary precautions. The communication should describe the nature of the personal data breach as well as recommendations for the natural person concerned to mitigate potential adverse effects. Such communications to data subjects should be made as soon as reasonably feasible and in close cooperation with the supervisory authority, respecting guidance provided by it or by other relevant authorities such as law-enforcement authorities. For example, the need to mitigate an immediate risk of damage would call for prompt communication with data subjects whereas the need to implement appropriate measures against continuing or similar personal data breaches may justify more time for communication.

(87) It should be ascertained whether all appropriate technological protection and organisational measures have been implemented to establish immediately whether a personal data breach has taken place and to inform promptly the supervisory authority and the data subject. The fact that the notification was made without undue delay should be established taking into account in particular the nature and gravity of the personal data breach and its consequences and adverse effects for the data subject. Such notification may result in an intervention of the supervisory authority in accordance with its tasks and powers laid down in this Regulation.

(88) In setting detailed rules concerning the format and procedures applicable to the notification of personal data breaches, due consideration should be given to the circumstances of that breach, including whether or not personal data had been protected by appropriate technical protection measures, effectively limiting the likelihood of identity fraud or other forms of misuse. Moreover, such rules and procedures should take into account the legitimate interests of law-enforcement authorities where early disclosure could unnecessarily hamper the investigation of the circumstances of a personal data breach.

Guidelines & Case Law Leave a comment