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 (GDPR) 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 (whichever is higher). 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.
In a nutshell, in a business setting, privacy considerations are overlooked because of greater attention towards profit centres of the business rather than its legal, social and ethical obligations. However, when we take into account the loss, fines and the public relations debacle a business can face when privacy is not handled well, then it all becomes a quantifiable mess.
This Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) allows a business to assess and monitor any potential threat areas and vulnerabilities. This can be done either before a new business is being developed, or when some strategy, technology or realities of an existing business are changing.
Any business undergoing ownership, product, or an industrial change requires a DPIA. Conducting one can help it reduce its potential loss stemming from data privacy and protection issues. Businesses in the past have repeatedly been reprimanded for their lack of data protection safeguards. Hence, this tool can take care of such threats to the security and profitability of your business.
The DPIA works by investigating potential vulnerabilities. It can help with devising the way forward to improve the data privacy and compliance status. Thus, in return it can prevent potential losses, fines and negative publicity for a business. It works on several levels of compliance before a business begins its data processing activities. This is essential to maintain the security, integrity and privacy of personal information being utilised within a new or existing business.
GDPR’s Article 35 and 36 covers Data Protection Impact Assessments. The DPIA is a new requirement under the GDPR as part of the “protection by design” principle.
“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.
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 that you are conducting best practice for data security and privacy within your organisation that will help build trust amongst your employees, customers and vendors.
In accordance with the GDPR’s Article 35, a DPIA must have all the elements mentioned below:
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 either consult with a Data Protection Officer (DPO) , data controller or any other key stakeholders participating in your project.
The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), who is entrusted with the responsibility to enforce GDPR in the country, created a template for Data Protection Impact Assessments.
This template can help 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 Questions (FAQs)
1. What should a 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: