Data Retention Policy and the GDPR

One of the fundamental principles of the GDPR is that personal data should not be retained for any longer than necessary to accomplish the set business purpose. This is of course a good thing to ensure everyone’s privacy as data that is deleted can no longer be (mis)used, exposed, hacked etc. Therefore, to comply with this principle, organisations need to have appropriate data retention rules and standards in place. This is where having a formal Data Retention Policy comes into play.

Moreover, a policy outlines the appropriate retention periods for different types of personal data, taking into account the legal and business requirements. It also defines the process for data deletion or destruction, ensuring that personal data is deleted securely and in a timely manner.

Here are some benefits of having a Data Retention Policies:

1. Compliance with GDPR: Having in place a Policy helps organisations to comply with the GDPR by ensuring that personal data is not retained for longer than necessary.

2. Mitigating Risk: The policy ensures that personal data is deleted securely and in a timely manner, reducing the risk of data breaches and associated costs.

3. Improved Efficiency: Also, the policy helps organisations to manage personal data more efficiently by defining clear guidelines for retention and deletion.

4. Better Decision-Making: Lastly, the policy helps organisations to make better decisions regarding the retention and deletion of personal data based on legal and business requirements.


Overall, having a formal Data Management/Retention Policy is an essential step towards GDPR compliance and ensuring the protection of personal data. It helps organisations to mitigate risks, improve efficiency, make better decisions, and comply with relevant regulations. If you need assistance with drafting and implementing a Data Retention Policy (also known as a records management policy or document retention policies)  for your firm, please feel free to reach out to us by email.


Check out our knowledge base if you want to learn more about how to get started with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)