Special categories of personal data

Processing sensitive personal data or personal data worth extra protection, such as information about health, political opinion or information about legal violations, requires special considerations and specific security measures. These data are all referred to as "special categories of personal data" in the information below.

What is special categories of personal data? 

Special categories of personal data is information about:

  • ethnic origin,
  • political opinions,
  • religious or philosophical beliefs,
  • membership of a trade union,
  • health,
  • a person's sex life or sexual orientation,
  • genetic data, and
  • biometric data used to uniquely identify a person.

Information about legal violations is, for example:

  • case number for criminal convictions,
  • information that someone has been detained,
  • information that someone has been the subject of a court process, or
  • other information related to criminal proceedings or legal offences.

Security measures

Personal data must be processed in a sufficiently secure manner so that it cannot be stolen, deleted or changed by mistake. Therefore, make sure to handle the information as securely as possible and do not share the personal data with unauthorized persons (for example other students, friends or family). This is especially important when you process special categories of personal data.

In order to be able to process special categories of personal data, you need to take the security measures described below. If you process ordinary personal data you should also take these measures.


If you or your supervisor have any questions, please contact the University's Data Protection Group at dataskydd@gu.se