You must have a valid lawful basis in order to process personal data.
There are six available lawful bases for processing. No single basis is ’better’ or more important than the others – which basis is most appropriate to use will depend on your purpose and relationship with the individual.
Most lawful bases require that processing is ‘necessary’. If you can reasonably achieve the same purpose without the processing, you won’t have a lawful basis.
You must determine your lawful basis before you begin processing, and you should document it. Take care to get it right first time - you should not swap to a different lawful basis at a later date without good reason.
Your privacy notice should include your lawful basis for processing as well as the purposes of the processing.
If your purposes change, you may be able to continue processing under the original lawful basis if your new purpose is compatible with your initial purpose (unless your original lawful basis was consent).
If you are processing special category data you need to identify both a lawful basis for general processing and an additional condition for processing this type of data.
If you are processing criminal conviction data or data about offences you need to identify both a lawful basis for general processing and an additional condition for processing this type of data.