OECD Privacy Principles


The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a forum for governments worldwide to discuss issues related to globalization. In 1980, the OECD released a report entitled Recommendation Concerning Guidelines Governing the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data. This document (which was updated in 2013) contains eight principles to guide the implementation of standardized privacy protections for data transferred between nations.


  • Collection Limitation Principle (Inflection Principle 2, Inflection Principle 3) There should be limits to the collection of personal data and any such data should be obtained by lawful and fair means and, where appropriate, with the knowledge or consent of the data subject.
  • Data Quality Principle (Inflection Principle 2) Personal data should be relevant to the purposes for which they are to be used, and, to the extent necessary for those purposes, should be accurate, complete and kept up-to-date.
  • Purpose Specification Principle (Inflection Principle 3) The purposes for which personal data are collected should be specified not later than at the time of data collection and the subsequent use limited to the fulfilment of those purposes or such others as are not incompatible with those purposes and as are specified on each occasion of change of purpose.
  • Use Limitation Principle (Inflection Principle 3) Personal data should not be disclosed, made available or otherwise used for purposes other than those specified in accordance with Paragraph 9 except:
    1. with the consent of the data subject; or
    2. by the authority of law.

  • Security Safeguards Principle (Inflection Principle 5)
    Personal data should be protected by reasonable security safeguards against such risks as loss or unauthorised access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure of data.

  • Openness Principle (Inflection Principle 1)
    There should be a general policy of openness about developments, practices and policies with respect to personal data. Means should be readily available of establishing the existence and nature of personal data, and the main purposes of their use, as well as the identity and usual residence of the data controller.

  • Individual Participation Principle (Inflection Principle 4)
    Individuals should have the right:

    1. to obtain from a data controller, or otherwise, confirmation of whether or not the data controller has data relating to them;
    2. to have communicated to them, data relating to them
      1. within a reasonable time;
      2. at a charge, if any, that is not excessive;
      3. in a reasonable manner; and
      4. in a form that is readily intelligible to them;

    3. to be given reasons if a request made under subparagraphs (a) and (b) is denied, and to be able to challenge such denial; and
    4. to challenge data relating to them and, if the challenge is successful to have the data erased, rectified, completed or amended.

  • Accountability Principle
    A data controller should be accountable for complying with measures which give effect to the principles stated above.

Further Reading

Link: The OECD Privacy Framework