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Guide to GDPR compliance for your online forms

In some locations like the EU and UK, ensuring that your forms comply with GDPR may be required for protecting the data rights of your users. This guide can help you understand the requirements and best practices for creating GDPR-compliant forms.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to be legal advice. Compliance with GDPR and other data protection regulations is complex. And frankly, we're not lawyers. We recommend that you speak with a legal professional to determine how data privacy laws apply specifically to you and your business.

What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. GDPR is a regulation that protects the personal data and privacy of individuals within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). It applies to any organization that processes the personal data of EU citizens, regardless of where the organization is located.

Separate from the EU's legislation, the UK has The Data Protection Act which is the UK’s implementation of the GDPR.

How does GDPR affect forms?

When creating forms according to GDPR, you may need to adhere to the following principles:

  • Lawfulness, Fairness, and Transparency: Ensure that data processing is lawful, fair, and transparent.
  • Purpose Limitation: Collect data only for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes.
  • Data Minimization: Collect only the data that is necessary for your specified purposes.
  • Accuracy: Keep personal data accurate and up to date.
  • Storage Limitation: Store personal data only as long as necessary for your purposes.
  • Integrity and Confidentiality: Ensure appropriate security measures to protect personal data.

How to create GDPR-compliant forms

Below are steps and some best practices for building GDPR-compliant forms.

Clearly Inform Users

Explain why you are collecting data and how it will be used. Clearly state the purpose of the form.

Obtain Consent

One of the main lawful bases for processing personal data is consent. When collecting personal data through your forms, you must:

Create Opt-in Consent

Ensure that consent is given freely, specifically, and unambiguously. For this you can use checkboxes that are not pre-ticked.

Separate Consent Requests

Separate data-collection consent requests from other terms and conditions (e.g., marketing or processing).

Allow Withdrawal

Make it easy for users to withdraw their consent at any time.

Only Collect Required Data

Only collect the data that you need. Avoid asking for excessive information.

Publish a Privacy Notice

Include a link to your privacy policy, detailing how the data will be used, stored, and protected.

Comply with Data Rights

  • Right to Access: Allow users to access the data you have collected about them.
  • Right to Rectification: Provide a way for users to update or correct their data.
  • Right to Erasure: Allow users to request the deletion of their data.
  • Right to Object: Provide users with the ability to object to certain types of processing, such as direct marketing.

What are your responsibilities?

If GDPR regulations apply to you or your business you are responsible for ensuring that the forms you create comply with GDPR.

GDPR Form Compliance Checklist

Reference the following GDPR compliance checklist we put together to track your compliance.

  • My form contains explicit and clear consent to opt-in to data collection.
  • I have clearly stated the purpose and use of the collected data.
  • I allow users to update or correct their data.
  • I provide users with access to their data and the ability to request its deletion.
  • I have implemented data security measures such as encryption.
  • I have included a link to my privacy policy within the form.
  • I have provided contact details in my privacy policy for data protection queries.
  • I will regularly review and update forms and data practices for compliance.


By following this guide, you can create forms that respect user privacy in order to better comply with GDPR requirements.

Since you've gotten this far, you must be interested in building GDPR compliant forms. Start building GDPR compliant forms with Whirr — for free.

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