GDPRhub style guide

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We try to keep articles and pages on GDPRhub as consistent and understandable as possible. Given the very different national traditions on citation and formatting in legal writing, we have tried to develop a middle ground that ensures that all readers can fully understand the articles on GDPRhub. Please follow this guide when editing GDRPhub.

General hints when editing GDPRhub[edit | edit source]

GDPRhub aims at making legal texts from across the EU accessible to everyone. At the same time the legal culture has very local traditions, customs and styles. We therefore ask all editors to follow these basic principles for the sake of consistency:

  • Use Simple English, as English is not the first language for most readers.
  • Try to use English formatting (e.g. 1,000 or 1000 instead of "1.000"), but not American formatting (28.5.2018, not 5/28/2018).
  • Provide the necessary context, so that a foreign reader (that may not know the local procedure or facts) can follow you.
  • Use our templates when you create a new page.
  • Use the text editor (not the visual editor) when possible, to ensure you can include all necessary code.
  • Check that a new page is categorized properly, so that readers can find it.

Constructing your sentences[edit | edit source]

Start with the subject, the verb, and the object[edit | edit source]

Legal sentences have a tendency to become rather complicated, especially when they contain a lot of detail and separate the key words. Help your readers by putting the subject and the verb towards the beginning of the sentence, and avoiding abundant qualifiers or conditions before the subject and verb.

Example: The DPA found a violation of Article 32 GDPR because the controller failed to take technical and organisational measures to protect the website visitors.

Example: Not Because of the lack of technical and organisational measures of the controller to protect the website visitors, the DPA found a violation of Article 32 GDPR.

Use the active voice rather than the passive[edit | edit source]

The active voice can make the reading easier, as it respects the expectation that the subject of the sentence will perform the action of the verb. It can also make the writing more lively and generally requires fewer words.

Example: The court found a violation of Article 6(1)(a) GDPR.

Example: Not A violation of Article 6(1)(a) GDPR was found by the court.

Use the past simple tense[edit | edit source]

When writing the summary, use the past simple tense in order to be consistent between decisions and in order to be consistent in the GDPRtoday newsletter.

Example: The Spanish DPA held that fingerprint clock-in systems are not acceptable under Article 5(1)(c).

Example: Not The Spanish DPA has held that fingerprint clocking systems are not acceptable under Article 5(1)(c).

Example: Not The Spanish DPA holds that fingerprint clocking systems are not acceptable under Article 5(1)(c).

Use the € symbol, but the official codes for other currencies[edit | edit source]

When talking about money, use the € symbol, but the official codes for other currencies. Put them always before the number. The € symbol is not followed by a space, but the codes are.

Use a comma if the number is 10,000 or bigger, don't use a comma if it's smaller.

Example: The Romanian DPA fined Facebook Romania €5000 (RON 25,000).

The summary section[edit | edit source]

The brief (200-250 characters) summary of the GDPRhub decisions is particularly important for the GDPRtoday newsletter. The aim is to automatically extract this text and use it for the weekly newsletter. Therefore, consistency and conciseness are even more important for this section than for the other parts of the summary. Please try to always follow the subsequent structure when drafting the summary, and reserve more detailed sentences for the following sections of the summary.

Example: The 'X' DPA fined 'Y' €50,000 for violating Article 'Z' GDPR by illegally processing the image of a data subject.

When gender is unknown, use the gender-neutral "they" as a singular pronoun[edit | edit source]

Singular "they" is the use in English of the pronoun "they" or its inflected or derivative forms, them, their, theirs, and themselves (or themself), as a gender-neutral singular pronoun. Try to only use this when referring to a data subject of unknown gender so that you can avoid using the binary "his or her."

Example: The data subject asked the controller to delete their data.

Example: Not The data subject asked the controller to delete his or her data.

References within GDPRhub[edit | edit source]

Citing Laws[edit | edit source]

GDPR[edit | edit source]

All Articles are called "Article X GDPR". We do not use abbreviations like "Art." or "Art" as they are widely different in each jurisdiction.

Paragraphs and subparagraph are added in brackets, as there are different forms of naming them in the member states.

Example: Article 6(1)(a) GDPR
Example: Not Art. 6 Abs 1 Lit a GDPR or Article 6 GDPR or GDPR Article 6, Sec 1(a)

Recitals are also not shortened.

Example: Recital 47
Example: Not R 47 or Recital 47 GDPR

Other EU Laws[edit | edit source]

Other EU laws follow the same system for naming the articles, but have the name of the legal act (e.g. regulation, directive) after the Article.

Example: Article 5 of the ePrivacy Directive should be cited as "Article 5 Directive 2002/58/EC."

When there is a common name for an act that allows the reader to understand the content of the act quicker, you should put the common name between the Article and the official number of the legal act. Keep the official number to ensure that the reader can still identify the act.

Example: Article 5 of the ePrivacy Directive should be cited as "Article 5 ePrivacy Directive 2002/58/EC."

National Laws[edit | edit source]

National laws are cited as usual in each country, but paragraphs and subparagraph follow the system of brackets as explained above for GDPR Articles, as they are widely different in each national jurisdiction. In other words: the national name for the Paragraph (§), Article or Section is used, but the numbering then follows the GDPRhub logic.

Example: § 6 Abs 4 Lit c) of an Austrian law becomes § 6(4)(c) on GDPRhub.
Example: Section 1 para 1(c) of an Irish law becomes Section 1(1)(c) on GDPRhub.

Linking to laws[edit | edit source]

When you cite a law for the first time on a page, you should always also link to the original text of the law, so that the reader can easily follow and verify your work.

Linking to GDPR Articles[edit | edit source]

GDPRhub has a page for each GDPR Article. It includes the text, the relevant recitals and a commentary on the Article. Ideally you should link to the actual subparagraph of each Article, as GDPRhub is using these subparagraphs to find the right cases.

Example: A case about consent as a legal basis should always use Article 6(1)(a) GDPR, not only Article 6 GDPR.

You can link to each page in the text editor by putting two square brackets before and after the Article.

Example: [[Article 6 GDPR]] will become Article 6 GDPR on a page.

You can show another name for the link (e.g. to only name it "Article 6" and not repeat "GDPR" within a text more than necessary.

Example: [[Article 6 GDPR|Article 6]] will be visible as Article 6.

You should always link to the exact part of the Article, which can be done by adding the subparagraph at the end of the link. For technical reasons, brackets are not possible here. Subparagraph (1)(b) therefore has to be written as #1b!

Example: [[Article 6 GDPR#1b|Article 6(1)(b)]] becomes Article 6(1)(b) and links to Article 6, section (1), subsection (b) of the relevant page.

Linking to other national and EU laws[edit | edit source]

For other national or EU laws you should link to the official publication of the law with a hyperlink.

Example: § 9 of the Austrian Data Protection Act (DSG) is linked as § 9 DSG to redirect to the external source.

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

References (e.g. to books, laws, cases or other documents) within a text can be added by using the wiki-function "Reference".

In the text editor you can just put the reference/footnote between an"<ref>" and "</ref>" element. It will generate a footnote and move the link to the text (your reference) between the two tags to the bottom of the page.

In the visual editor, you can click on "cite" to include a reference/footnote. It will generate a footnote and move the link to the reference to the bottom of the page.

Consistent names on GDPRhub[edit | edit source]

Naming DPA and court cases[edit | edit source]

On GDPRhub all cases are named by Court/DPA, a dash and the case number or the case name. If a case number is available, always use the case number. If no case name or number is available, you may use a description of the case as a title.

If there is an abbreviation of the court or DPA, this will be used for titles. Abbreviations of the DPAs can be found in the DPA overview. Abbreviations of courts can be found in the court overview.

Example: Decision FS50819531 of the Information Commissioner's Office is called "ICO - FS50819531".

Naming DPAs and courts in page titles[edit | edit source]

The names of DPAs are mostly the abbreviation in the national language and the country name in brackets. Abbreviations of all DPAs can be found in the DPA overview.

Example: The UK Information Commissioner's Office can be found as ICO (UK).

Courts are named by the abbreviation and the country name in brackets.

Example: A case of the Den Haag Court of First Instance (Rechtbank) can be found as Rb. Den Haag - C/09/581973/KG ZA 19/1024.

Local names of laws and institutions[edit | edit source]

Names of many non-English elements (e.g. names of a court or a law in the local language) can be very confusing and hard to follow. To ensure that the reader can follow the articles, an English translation and the original name are used on GDPRhub.

Always use an English translation (or description) and add the local name in brackets so that the reader can follow you. Local abbreviations are used and may be added in the brackets, separated with a dash. When further citing the element or using it in a title of a page, you may use the national abbreviation.

Example: The German "Oberlandesgericht Köln" becomes the "High Regional Court Cologne (Oberlandesgericht Köln - OLG Köln)".
Example: The German "Oberlandesgericht Köln" becomes the "OLG Cologne" when used in a page title.
Example: The German Bundesdatenschutzgesetz (BDSG) becomes the "German Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz - BDSG)". Once this abbreviation is established on a page, you may later simply refer to the BDSG in your article.

Specific elements on GDPRhub[edit | edit source]

Examples[edit | edit source]

Examples can be added by including ::<u>Example:</u> before a paragraph in the text editor.

Example: This is an example.