DPIA 101

What is a DPIA?

Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA) are crucial processes that help companies manage how they handle personal data and identify and minimize risks to rights and freedoms before launching new products or services. This process allows companies to manage how they handle personal data and demonstrates their General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance and commitment to protecting natural persons’ privacy.

Who should elaborate on the DPIA?

The organization’s controller is responsible for ensuring that the DPIA is adequately conducted. This task can be assigned to someone else within the organization or an external expert consultant.

If the organization requires a Data Protection Officer, the officer must actively participate in the DPIA process.

When should a DPIA be conducted?

To determine the necessity of a DPIA, a preliminary risk assessment of the processing activity’s impact on the rights and freedoms of natural persons must be done. If the assessment indicates that the processing is likely to result in high risk, a DPIA becomes essential. This requirement ensures compliance with the accountability principle imposed on the controller, as the controller must have proof of conducting the preliminary assessment that led to the conclusion that a DPIA was or was not needed.

The DPIA must be done before the processing of personal data begins.

However, the DPIA obligations do not end when the initial DPIA is completed. They require continuous review because circumstances can vary the level of risk initially assessed. Therefore, a constant assessment of the DPIA is necessary to comply fully with GDPR requirements.

The Irish Data Protection Commission has published a non-exhaustive list of processing activities that require a DPIA:

  1. Large-scale use of personal data for purposes different from the original collection.
  2. Profiling vulnerable individuals, including children, for targeted marketing or online services.
  3. Using profiling, algorithms, or special category data to determine access to services with legal or significant effects.
  4. Systematic monitoring or tracking of individuals’ location or behaviour.
  5. Large-scale profiling of individuals.
  6. Processing biometric data for unique identification or authentication combined with other DPIA criteria listed in the WP29 Guideline on DPIA.
  7. Processing genetic data combined with other DPIA criteria listed in the WP29 Guideline on DPIA.
  8. Indirectly sourcing personal data without meeting GDPR transparency requirements.
  9. Combining or linking separate datasets for significant profiling or behavioural analysis, especially from different sources or controllers.
  10. Large-scale processing requires specific safeguards under the Data Protection Act 2018 to protect individuals’ rights and freedoms.

Who might ask to see my DPIA?

Four parties will be interested in seeing your DPIA:

  1. The Supervisory Authority might ask to see your DPIA. This will usually be after they receive a complaint about your processing of personal data.
  2. Vendors or third parties your company works with. This will usually happen because they, like your company, must show proof of compliance with GDPR requirements. Ensuring the vendors and third parties you work with are GDPR compliant is mandatory.
  3. Investors might ask to see your DPIA because they are concerned about their company’s compliance with GDPR.
  4. Clients. The company’s clients will ask to see the DPIA to confirm whether the company is a risk to them.

Steps to do a DPIA

At the minimum, a DPAI must contain:

  1. A systematic description of the processing activity: Detailed description of the processing activities, including the types of data involved, how it was obtained, and what will be done with the data. Specify the duration for which the data will be retained, how it will be securely stored, and who will have access to it. For example, describe collecting customer names, email addresses, and purchase history through online forms and point-of-sale systems, analysing this data to improve marketing strategies, retaining it for two years, storing it in an encrypted database, and allowing access only to authorized marketing personnel.
  2. An assessment of necessity, proportionality, and risk to rights and freedoms of data subjects: Evaluate whether the data processing is necessary for achieving the intended purpose and if it is proportionate to the goals. Assess the potential risks to the rights and freedoms of natural persons, considering factors such as data minimization and the potential impact on privacy. For example, determine if collecting detailed purchase histories is essential for improving customer service, if the scope of data collected is limited to what is necessary, and if the potential risks, such as unauthorized access or misuse, are appropriately mitigated through security measures and access controls.
  3. A determination of measures envisaged to address the risks: Identify and outline the measures that will be implemented to mitigate the identified risks to data subjects’ rights and freedoms. This includes technical and organizational measures such as encryption, anonymization, access controls, regular security audits, and staff training. For example, implement encryption for data storage, restrict access to authorized personnel only, conduct regular security audits to identify vulnerabilities, and provide ongoing privacy training for employees to ensure they understand data protection protocols and procedures.

How we can help?

Partner with Symmetry to confidently navigate your DPIA and GDPR requirements. Our team of experienced professionals provides tailored solutions that ensure your company complies with regulations and secures and enhances your data management practices. Symmetry offers customers a comprehensive platform that facilitates easy and efficient data management, ensuring a seamless and user-friendly experience.

Contact us here

By |2024-05-31T14:00:03+01:00May 31st, 2024|DPIA, DPO, Privacy|0 Comments