dpia focus

A Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) must be carried out whenever you start a new project, and it contains “a high risk” to people’s personal information.

The General Data Protection Regulation carries a plethora of rules that businesses must follow for the protection of personal data they collect on their clients.

Compliance with GDPR is important; otherwise, there are penalties for failure to comply. Penalties can approximately go up to $20 million or 4 percent of annual revenue. There are countless companies that have received these severe fines.

But, here is the key. To demonstrate compliance with GDPR and its requirements, an organisation must prepare a DPIA for every high-risk data processing activities.

Data Protection Impact Assessment under the GDPR

GDPR’s Article 35 covers Data Protection Impact Assessments. The DPIA is a new requirement of the GDPR as part of the “protection by design” principle.

The law says:

“Where a type of processing, in particular, using new technologies and taking into account the nature, scope, context and purposes of the processing, is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons, the controller shall, prior to the processing, carry out an assessment of the impact of the envisaged processing operations on the protection of personal data.”

The above passage states that a DPIA is required by the regulation under specific conditions. Down below are some examples of the types of conditions in which a company requires a DPIA.

  • Whenever you use new technologies.
  • If you track people’s behaviour or behaviour.
  • When systematically monitoring a publicly accessible place on a large scale.
  • If you’re processing personal data related to “racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or legitimate interest sexual orientation”.
  • If your data processing is used to make automated decisions about people that could have legal (or similarly significant) effects.
  • When you process children’s data.
  • If your data processing can physically harm the data subjects if it is leaked.

In case, there are no high-risk activities found; still, you should conduct a DPIA to reduce your liabilities. Moreover, you will be able to demonstrate and ensure the best practices you are applying for data security and privacy.DPIA- Data Protection Impact Assessment

The Conduction of a Data Protection Impact Assessment:

In accordance with the GDPR’s Article 35, a DPIA must have all the elements mentioned below.

  • A systematic description of the expected processing operations and their purposes, including where applicable and by the controller.
  • An evaluation to check the necessity and proportionality of the processing operations in relation to the purposes.
  • An assessment of the risks associated with the rights and freedoms of data subjects.
  • The measures to address the risks, incorporating safeguards, security measures and mechanisms to assure personal data protection and to demonstrate compliance with the GDPR, taking into account the rights and legitimate interests of data subjects and other persons concerned.

Data Protection Impact Assessments are required to be carried out prior to any projects involve a high risk when processing data. It is ideal to conduct your DPIA before and during the planning stages of your company’s new project.

Consultation is imperative, so you must have a Data Protection Officer (DPO) to consult. If not the DPO then any other key stakeholders participating in your project.

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office, who is entrusted with the responsibility to enforce GDPR in the country, created a template for Data Protection Impact Assessments.

This template is prepared to guide you in the process of demonstrating that either, your data processing activities require a DPIA or not.

A series of questions will be asked to understand the scope of data processing. They will also help you in determining what measures of protection can be implemented in your project’s design.

Frequently Asked Question
1.  What should DPIA contain?

A Data Protection Impact Assessment should describe; the nature, scope, context and purposes of the processing. It must also evaluate necessity, proportionality and compliance measures and identify risks.

2·  When should you complete a DPIA?

GDPR’s Article 35 highlighted several situations in which a DPIA is crucial. Especially, when you are processing large scale of special categories of data, or any personal data processing which relates to criminal convictions.

3.  Do I need a Data protection impact assessment?

A DPIA is recommended when your processing contains high risks to the freedoms and rights of individuals.

4.  What are the seven principles of data protection?

There are seven key principles under GDPR.

  • Lawfulness, fairness and transparency.
  • Purpose limitation.
  • Data minimisation.
  • Accuracy.
  • Storage limitation.
  • Integrity and confidentiality (security)
  • Accountability.

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