Skip to content

a close up of hands at a laptop with a pair of glasses and a cup of coffee in the foreground

Safeguarding data

Average read time: 3 minutes

Unilever respects the privacy of all individuals, including our employees and consumers. We handle any personal data and digital information we hold about them responsibly.

a busy shopping street in a city

A culture of privacy

When we use personal data, we do so with integrity and transparency, upholding the rights of the individual in accordance with our values and the law.

This helps us to build and maintain trust, which enables us to create meaningful, closer and long-lasting relationships, not just with our consumers but with our customers, employees and suppliers.

Our vision

We will build a culture of respect, integrity and transparency in relation to how we collect, use and protect data, creating value by reducing risk and winning trust in an increasingly distrusted environment.

A transparent approach

Every year, all employees must read and sign up to our Personal Data and Privacy Code Policy (PDF 92KB). This was updated in 2020.

  • Only collect data that is adequate and relevant, and use it solely for the purpose for which it was collected.
  • Be transparent with individuals in relation to how their personal data is used, in alignment with Unilever privacy notices.
  • Obtain consent from individuals in accordance with local law.
  • Keep personal data up to date, correcting inaccurate information when requested and respecting individual legal rights.
  • Keep personal data confidential and secure.
  • Act responsibly and ethically, upholding Unilever’s core values, and always considering the risk to individuals in using their personal data, and taking steps to mitigate such risk.

We invest in building true accountability for data privacy, quality and excellence. For example, we bring together world-class data and legal experts to provide credible, proportionate and executable solutions.

Our Five Privacy Fundamentals

Our Personal Data and Privacy Code is supported by our Five Privacy Fundamentals. These universally apply across geographies, types of data and scale. The order of the fundamentals is deliberate:

  1. First, we understand the purpose and objective of the business activity that requires personal data.
  2. We then assess if there is proportionality for the type and amount of data we attempt to collect/use.
  3. Ensuring transparency is of paramount importance to drive and maintain trust. This sits at the centre of our Five Privacy Fundamentals, and we expect everyone to go above and beyond legal requirements to achieve the highest levels of transparency.
  4. Securing and protecting the data is fundamental to maintaining compliance with laws and most importantly trust from those who have trusted us with their personal data. This is everyone’s responsibility – we treat the personal data of consumers or employees as if it were our own data.
  5. Finally, we must demonstrate good governance and accountability across Unilever, such as looking at the controls that are in place, and how we ensure these principles are being met.

Privacy by design

We adopt a Privacy by Design approach – this means we embed privacy in everything we do and document it in a privacy risk assessment.

This not only helps us to fulfil global data protection compliance obligations, it also enables us to do the right thing when it comes to handling data from our consumers, customers, employees and suppliers.

Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we collect personal data, why we collect it and what we do with it.