Guidelines 05/2020 on Consent under Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR)
SECTION 6 INTERACTION BETWEEN CONSENT AND OTHER LAWFUL GROUNDS IN ARTICLE 6 GDPR
121. Article 6 sets the conditions for a lawful personal data processing and describes six lawful bases on which a controller can rely. The application of one of these six bases must be established prior to the processing activity and in relation to a specific purpose.
122. It is important to note here that if a controller chooses to rely on consent for any part of the processing, they must be prepared to respect that choice and stop that part of the processing if an individual withdraws consent. Sending out the message that data will be processed on the basis of consent, while actually some other lawful basis is relied on, would be fundamentally unfair to individuals.
123. In other words, the controller cannot swap from consent to other lawful bases. For example, it is not allowed to retrospectively utilise the legitimate interest basis in order to justify processing, where problems have been encountered with the validity of consent. Because of the requirement to disclose the lawfulbasis, which the controller is relying upon at the time of collection of personal data, controllers must have decided in advance of collection what the applicable lawful basis is.