The Icons Project

The GDPR provides in Art. 12(7) that, in order to fulfill its information obligations under Art. 13 and 14, the controller may also make use of certain icons which are provided to the data subject in combination with the required (textual) information. This is intended to provide the data subject with a meaningful overview of the intended processing in an easily perceptible, understandable and clearly comprehensible form.

Article 12 (8) of the GDPR provides for the possibility of a delegated act. This allows the Commission to determine which information is to be presented by icons and which procedures are to be applied.

Despite several requests, the Commission has not yet used the legal act power. Since Bitkom and its members consider the approach useful and necessary - especially against the background of data processing by devices with very small or even no displays - the Privacy Icons WG of the Bitkom Data Protection Working Group has proactively and independently developed an implementation and icon examples and is making them available for use in the market.

The icon set developed is supplemented by a concept paper and the practical guide also published here and is available for download here.