Effective impact assessments to reduce data processing risks
DPIAs are all about assessing risk. In particular you need to ask: could the way you process data cause harm – either to individuals or to society as a whole? We can guide you through the DPIA process. In particular if you identify a high risk of harm that requires notifying the Information Commissioner (the ICO) our data protection solicitors can liaise with the regulator on your behalf. Our data protection impact assessments cover:
- GDPR training to ensure relevant staff understand the importance of DPIAs and when one might be necessary.
- Provision of data protection impact assessment guidelines.
- Providing advice where necessary on whether a DPIA is required, usually where processing is likely to result in a high riskto individuals. This might be where you intend to carry out systematic monitoring or profiling or you are considering the processing of children’s data.
- Documenting the risk to individuals following consultation with your data protection officer and other staff.
- Compiling the DPIA, describing the nature and context of your processing and ensuring full GDPR compliance.
- Considering modifications to your processing methods to mitigate identified risks.
- Reporting your intended processing project to the ICO if a high level of risk is identified.
- Responding to any decision by the ICO that prevents you from processing the data.
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Data protection impact assessment checklist – the essential
Remember that an impact assessment is a compliance tool designed to identify and reduce the risks involved in a particular project you intend to carry out. A properly considered and completed DPIA demonstrates that you have taken the necessary steps to avoid harming individuals through your data processing. You should:
- Provide a description of the processing – what is it for?
- Ask relevant staff about their processing activities: can they suggest what risks might arise?
- Obtain advice from your data protection officer.
- Confirm that the processing is necessary and proportionate.
- Set out how you intend to comply with GDPR principles.
- Assess the likelihood of harm to individuals.
- Identify ways to remove or reduce risk.
- Keep a record of all decisions that informed the DPIA.
- Ensure that precautionary measures identified in the DPIA are implemented before processing occurs.
Benefits of data protection impact assessments under the GDPR
Increased awareness of data processing
DPIAs encourage employees to think about the implications of their data processing activities, and in particular the risk of harm to individuals their work may cause.
Builds trust and confidence in your business
You don’t have to publish a completed impact assessment. However releasing the documentation – for example on your website – is a clear signal that you take data security seriously and will increase consumer trust.
The data protection impact assessment procedure is designed to reduce the risk of harm to individuals. But a properly considered DPIA can also provide your business with compliance and financial benefits by reducing the risk of serious data breaches and regulatory sanctions.
Who we help: Businesses carrying out high volume data processing
A data protection impact assessment form is only required when your data processing is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals. And it is only if you can’t mitigate the risks that you need to consult with the ICO prior to carrying out the processing. At Harper James Solicitors, we have the expertise to identify risk and advise on mitigation. We are familiar with how the regulator approaches high risk processing and can liaise with officials there when your DPIA identifies a high level of risk that can’t be reduced.
Examples of our work
TikTok to face the music for possible children’s data breach
7 January 2021
A 12-year-old British girl is planning legal action against video-sharing giant TikTok, in a case which could have major repercussions for social media companies and …
Why choose Harper James Solicitors?
If you are embarking on large scale data processing and you are concerned about the risk to individuals get in touch with us. We offer general advice on the occasions when a DPIA is essential as well as on those instances where one may be desirable. We can also assist with the DPIA itself, advising you on the steps you need to take, who you need to involve and the issues you need to raise to ensure your DPIA is effective. We have a specialist team of solicitors, regularly engaged in training and advising commercial clients and their staff on all aspects of GDPR compliance.
As a fully integrated commercial law firm we can also provide you with support across a range of services to help your business go from strength to strength. With a deep understanding of the inner workings of growing businesses, we can provide you with all the legal support you will need to thrive.
Find out more about the team here:
As a previous partner at DLA Piper, Sarah comes with a rich pedigree in providing expert commercial services for her clients.View profile
IP & Commercial Technology Partner
Before joining us Rob worked for Santander bank as an IP/brand management lawyer and also at Shakespeare Martineau.View profile
Senior data protection and privacy solicitor
With a wealth of expertise in privacy, data protection, GDPR and cyber-security law, Clive’s distinguished legal career spans three decades in private practice and the public sector.View profile
Senior IT & Commercial Solicitor
With over 15 years of in-house experience in the IT sector, Rob specialises in drafting and negotiating all manner of commercial agreements.View profile
Senior Commercial Technology & Data Protection Solicitor
David is a senior commercial solicitor, specialising in technology and data protection. He joins us having worked as in-house counsel for the BBC and OUP.View profile
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