Data Subject Request

Definition of Data Subject Request

A Data Subject Request (DSR) is a term related to data privacy, particularly in the context of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It refers to the right of individuals to request access to, modification, or deletion of their personal data that an organization holds or processes. DSRs are important to ensure transparency, control, and compliance with data protection regulations.


The phonetic pronunciation for the keyword “Data Subject Request” would be: ˈdātə ˈsəbˌjekt rɪˈkwestHere is a breakdown of each word in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA):- Data: /ˈdeɪtə/ or /ˈdɑːtə/ – DAY-tuh or DAH-tuh- Subject: /ˈsʌbdʒɛkt/ – SUHB-jekt- Request: /rɪˈkwɛst/ – ri-KWEST

Key Takeaways

  1. Data Subject Requests (DSRs) are an essential part of data protection regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA, which give individuals the right to access, correct, and delete their personal information held by organizations.
  2. Organizations must be prepared to handle DSRs promptly and efficiently, as they are required to respond to these requests within legally specified timeframes, typically 30 days for GDPR and 45 days for CCPA.
  3. Implementing a clear and effective DSR process helps organizations ensure compliance with data protection regulations, avoid fines, and maintain trust with their customers and data subjects.

Importance of Data Subject Request

The technology term Data Subject Request (DSR) is important because it embodies the concept of granting individuals greater control over their personal data in the digital age.

Under data protection regulations like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), individuals have the right to access, modify, delete, or restrict the processing of their personal data held by companies.

DSRs empower individuals to exercise these rights effectively, fostering transparency and trust between organizations and users in handling sensitive information.

Moreover, DSRs help ensure businesses are held accountable and may lead to better data security practices, ultimately enhancing user privacy and contributing to more ethical uses of data-driven technologies.


Data Subject Request (DSR) primarily serves as a medium for individuals to exercise control over their personal data, empowering them with specific rights as stipulated under data protection regulations. The primary purpose of a DSR is to ensure that people have the ability to maintain, secure and manage their personal information, in turn, addressing concerns over privacy and data misuse.

With data breaches and scandals becoming an increasing concern, authorities have placed paramount importance upon implementing various data protection laws such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to safeguard individuals’ personal information and to ensure that organizations comply with maintaining transparency about data collection and storage. A Data Subject Request allows individuals to take advantage of their rights under these data protection laws, enabling them to access, rectify, erase or transfer their data, withdraw consent, or object to the processing of their personal information.

When an individual submits a DSR, organizations are legally obliged to respond appropriately within a specified time frame and without undue delay. This not only encourages responsible handling of user data but also fosters a strong, symbiotic relationship between organizations and end-users based on trust and transparency.

In conclusion, Data Subject Requests play a crucial role in securing the privacy interests of individuals, while simultaneously motivating businesses to manage data ethically and responsibly.

Examples of Data Subject Request

Data Subject Requests (DSRs) are essential components of modern privacy laws, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). They provide individuals with control over their personal data that is held by businesses and organizations. Here are three real-world examples of DSRs to illustrate their importance and application:

Deletion Request from a Social Media User:A person who has been using a popular social media platform for several years decides to deactivate their account. They file a DSR to have all their personal data, including photos, posts, and messages, deleted from the platform. The social media company is then obligated to remove the user’s data and notify them once the process is complete, ensuring that their personal data is no longer stored or processed by the company.

Access Request from a Bank Customer:A bank customer is concerned about the security of their personal data, especially after hearing about data breaches at financial institutions. They submit a DSR to access all the personal data their bank holds on them. The bank then provides the customer with a copy of their data, including account details, transaction history, and credit information, allowing the customer to take necessary steps to protect their privacy and financial security.

Rectification Request from an Online Shopper:An online shopper notices that the information on their account with an e-commerce site is incorrect, such as outdated phone numbers or addresses. They submit a DSR to correct the inaccuracies, ensuring a smoother shopping experience and preventing potential issues with shipping and delivery. The e-commerce site updates their records in compliance with the DSR, making sure their customer’s personal data is accurate and up-to-date.

Data Subject Request FAQ

What is a Data Subject Request?

A Data Subject Request (DSR) is a request made by an individual, also known as a “data subject,” to an organization to access, modify, delete, or restrict the processing of their personal data. This right is granted by certain privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Who can submit a Data Subject Request?

Any individual whose personal data is being processed by an organization has the right to submit a Data Subject Request. In the context of GDPR, this applies to individuals residing in the European Union, while CCPA covers California residents.

How can an individual submit a Data Subject Request?

An individual can submit a Data Subject Request by contacting the organization that is processing their personal data. This can be done through various methods such as email, postal mail, or online forms provided by the organization. It is essential to provide sufficient information for the organization to process the request, such as full name, contact details, and a description of the data in question.

How long does it take for an organization to respond to a Data Subject Request?

Under GDPR, organizations are required to respond to a Data Subject Request within 30 calendar days. However, this timeframe can be extended by an additional 60 days if the request is complex or there are multiple requests from the same individual. In the case of CCPA, organizations have 45 calendar days to respond, which can also be extended if necessary.

What are the potential consequences for organizations failing to comply with Data Subject Requests?

Failing to comply with Data Subject Requests can result in significant penalties for organizations, depending on the applicable privacy regulation. Under GDPR, non-compliance can lead to fines of up to €20 million or 4% of an organization’s annual global revenue, whichever is higher. In the case of CCPA, non-compliance can result in fines of up to $7,500 per intentional violation or $2,500 per unintentional violation.

Related Technology Terms

  • Data Protection Regulation
  • Personal Data Processing
  • Right to Access
  • Right to Erasure
  • Data Breach Notification

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms