So it seems, from what I can tell, under UK GDPR...

✓ Banning someone from your service called "Dave"

Yep, it seems GDPR does not have any issue with your refusing someone "joining a service" based on some aspect of their personal information as long as it it not some discrimination related protected characteristic. So if you designed your system to not allow anyone called "Dave" you can do that.

✓ Banning someone changing their name to "Dave"

Surprisingly, despite the UK GDPR "right to rectification", a company, it seems, according to the ICO and even the parliamentary ombudsman, a company can refuse your changing personal information in any way they like as long as it is a "technical issue". I.e. if you designed a system that cannot handle some specific personal information for some arbitrary reason (such as a short email address, or a name of "Dave") then that is a valid excuse, even though nothing in UK GDPR seems to say it is a valid excuse, and you can refuse to allow the change.

Yep, it is all messed up. What a surprise!

P.S. changing your name to Dåve would probably be something you can insist on, due to case law: https://gdprhub.eu/index.php?title=Court_of_Appeal_of_Brussels_-_2019/AR/1006


  1. Well of course. See Narbonic's D-Con arc: all Daves are members of the Dave Conspiracy (if they are kicked out, they will find everyone voluntarily referring to them as David). It only makes sense to exclude members of a globe-spanning conspiracy from your service, even if they *are* a globe-spanning conspiracy that can hardly ever be bothered to do anything nefarious because the Daves running it are all such slackers :)

    (I checked with my friend Dave and he swears this is all dead true.)

  2. Of course its true, and we are the best :) We even have a TV channel named after us.
    I also have issues with some companies where they are unable to handle the hyphen in our email address. If you can't accept it then you don't get my business

  3. Not GDPR, but I think banning just people called Dave from a service would fall foul of the Equality Act 2010 (assuming the service is one covered by the act.)

    A ban on anyone called "Dave" from using the service would clearly put men (i.e. the protected characteristic of sex) at a particular disadvantage compared to women, and as such, your ban on us would be indirect discrimination on grounds of sex, unless you can show the ban is a "proportional means to a legitimate aim"....

    I await with interest your legitimate aim in banning Dave's! :)


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