Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA)

Definition & Meaning:

A Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations identify and minimize the data protection risks of a project.

It is a requirement under data protection laws like the GDPR for projects that are likely to result in a high risk to individuals’ rights and freedoms.

This involves analyzing how personal data is processed, assessing the necessity and proportionality of a project, and managing risks to the rights and privacy of individuals.

For example, before launching a new online service that collects personal data, you would conduct a DPIA to identify potential privacy risks and determine how to mitigate them.

This might include risks related to data sharing, storage, or transfer. The DPIA should be carried out early in the project’s life cycle, so its findings and recommendations can be implemented effectively.

The DPIA process requires you to systematically describe the processing operation, assess its necessity, identify and evaluate risks to individuals, and decide on measures to mitigate those risks.

If the DPIA identifies a high risk that cannot be mitigated, you must consult the relevant Data Protection Authority before proceeding.

Conducting a DPIA is not just about compliance; it also demonstrates your commitment to protecting personal data and can improve the design and usability of your project by focusing on user privacy from the start.

This process can help build trust with your users by showing that you take their privacy seriously.