On July 10, 2018 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) published an opinion finding that the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) applied to the collection of personal data during “door-to-door” preaching by the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious community. This data included the name and addresses of individuals contacted, and in certain cases, the individuals’ religious beliefs and family circumstances. Members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses community used this data to coordinate preaching efforts across territories and to maintain lists of individuals who did not wish to be visited.
The judgment in this case (CJEU C-25/17) highlights the broad scope of the GDPR in several ways. First, it shows the limitation of the “personal or household” exception to the GDPR.