Voice is a personal data

Protected by European GDPR and worldwide data protection laws, voice has become a focal point of supervisory authorities.

Personal data protection is a societal priority enforced by numerous regulatory texts worldwide. For most people, social security numbers, birth dates, email addresses, last names, images and DNA come to mind when thinking of “personal data”. Many are unaware that voice is a personal data and that  it’s strictly protected by GDPR supervisory authorities.

GDPR Article 4.1 defines personal data as “All data related to a person and that allows them to be identified directly or indirectly (…) to one or several specific properties unique to their physical, physiological identity…”.  Voice is protected by this article as it’s often used to identify individuals and is specific to the physiological identity of people. .

The CNIL, the French GDPR Supervisory Authority, defines personal data as any information that can be used to identify a natural person directly or indirectly. For example, first or last name, telephone number, social security number, email, image or voice. 

More and more AI software and fintech service and identification projects are based on vocal recognition, underlining the importance and sensibility of these data (ie Common Voice by Mozilla, VoCo by Adobe, Siri, Alexa…) that will be at core of commercial wars in the next few years, proving the urgency to regulate the use and processing of this personal today.

European data protection authorities have always leaned towards the widest possible interpretation of this concept. The European working group G29, uniting national authorities such as the French CNIL, has clearly stated that data comprised of sounds and images deserves to be considered as personal data.

GDPR is not about refusing technological progress, but was established and put into effect in order to protect businesses and technology’s reach and exploitation of our personal data, ensuring that respect and protection of privacy remains a priority.

Voice is certainly one of the most sensitive and dangerous personal data being exploited in our current data era, and the risks multiply daily.  

The dubbing and voice industry is no exception to the qualification of voice as a personal data, no matter the medium.  Learn more…


Disclaimer: All data and information provided in this blog post are for informational purposes only. Mediartis makes no representation as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or validity of the information contained in this document. We recommend that you consult a lawyer for any legal advice regarding the respect of data protection.

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