Duration guide

Make sure you first read the label structure page about the duration part of the label. It goes into the basics of how storage duration should be calculated.

‌To express how long the collected data is stored you will need to figure out two things:

  1. How to count the data
  2. How long each type of data is stored

Calculating amounts of data

As mentioned on the general duration explanation page, here "data" is counted as "number of data types" (and not the amount of items actually in the database, or the amount of megabytes this takes). Generally, you can start by looking in your excel sheet or database and counting the number of columns.

Next, these common collections of data should be counted as "one piece of data":

  • Name. The first, middle and last name of a person can be counter as one piece of data. A name is personal data. Note: if you record someone's prefered method as address, such as "Mr" or "Dr", this is a separate piece of data, as this can reflect marital status or education level.
  • Address. So the streetname, house number, post code, this can all be grouped together and counted as one type of data.
  • Phone number. Country code, area code and subscriber number should together count as one piece of data.

Similarly, if you are storing parts email address or URL's separately somehow, they should still be combined to count as "email address" or "URL" respectively. Bank account number is another example.

‌This combining helps avoid giving some very common types a lot of influence in the count. It's also done to bring the label in line with what 'everyday people' would count as a piece of data, and to smooth over cultural differences in storing these data types.

User ID First name  Last name  Country code  Phone nr.  Age
1 Mikanos  Shovel  +31  07123345  35
2 Gisele  Manuto  +01  01523566  82
This counts as 4 data types, since first and last name should together count as one data type. Similarly, the two parts of a phone number should also together count as one.

Calculating duration

The label allows storage durations to be placed in one of these categories:

  • A month or less
  • A year or less
  • 10 years or less
  • Longer than 10 years.

The durations should describe the maximum real-world length of time that data could be stored.


‌Imagine you're making a label for a hiring spree at an organisation, where people will be sending you resume's. Let's also imagine the local law requires you to store data about employees for 7 years after they leave the organisation. In practise, some employee data might be stored 8 years, while for some very loyal employees it might be stored for 28 years. In this case "longer than 10 years" should be chosen, even if most employee data is stored for less than that.

‌In other words: the durations should be read as "up to this duration".

This 'absolute' measurement of time was a necessary compromise in order to keep the label simple. Remember, you can always expand on the reasons for storing data in the explanations inside the label, or in the broader privacy policy.

A practical example

Let's look a some examples

Data type  Maximum duration Lorem Ipsum
Website visitor IP  4 weeks Lorem Ipsum
Visited web pages list  4 weeks  
User ID  as long as account exists  
User name  as long as account exists
Last login time  as long as account exists
Currently logged in  1 day

ID First name  Last name Purchased license Purchase date
61941 John  Case  ANFUYE34  05-02-2021


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