Your right to data portability

Data portability is the ability to transfer data collected and/or stored by one organisation to another via electronic means.

Your right to it allows you to request that your personal information is shared with another organisation safely and securely, without affecting how it could be used.

The information must be shared free of charge – at no cost to you or the receiving organisation.

As examples, you might want your bank and your building society to share your transaction history with a finance monitoring app accessed through your mobile telephone. Or you might want your medical insurance company to have access to your exercise log as recorded by your watch and uploaded to the manufacturer’s website. Or you might want to give your gas and electricity consumption data to a comparison website to see if there are better tariffs that you might switch to.

You only have this right if the following criteria are met:

  • you have provided your own data
  • the lawful basis for current use is your consent or for the performance of a contract
  • where use is automated by the organisation

The data must be provided in a structured, commonly used, machine readable format such as a comma separated values (CSV) file. That allows other organisations to read the data and import it into their applications.

You can request that the data is sent directly to the other organisation (or made available on demand so that the other organisation can retrieve it when ready). However, if it is not technically feasible to do so, the organisation that holds the data does not have to adapt its systems to do so.

Generally, the organisation holding the data must transfer the data without undue delay and within one month.

It may extend the period by a further two months if your request is complex or you make a number of requests. However, if it does delay the transfer, it must inform you within one month why the delay is necessary.

The organisation may also choose not to transfer the data. If it does so, it must give you a valid reason and inform you of your right to complain to the supervisory authority and make a claim in a court. It must tell you this without undue delay and within one month of your initial request.