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Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA)

A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) involves the evaluation of the personal data processing activities, the risks involved in the processing as well as the ways for managing them, and compliance with the principles of personal data processing according to the European Data Protection Regulation.

A DPIA is an excellent way of ensuring that personal data is processed lawfully and that the risks involved in the processing are appropriately managed. A comprehensive impact assessment is an essential way of addressing regulatory accountability in terms of data protection.

Benefits of an impact assessment 

We carry out data protection impact assessments from the perspectives of systems and services as well as the processes used in the data processing. For example, we can examine a new data system, cloud service, or the processing of health data. In application development, starting a DPIA as early on as possible is an effective way of ensuring compliance with the principles of data protection by design and by default.  

A data protection impact assessment provides you with a comprehensive, independent assessment of the current status and development needs of your data protection activities, along with a list of concrete risks and prioritized suggestions for managing the risks. An impact assessment is also an easy way to demonstrate to customers and partners how you are taking care of data protection. Insta’s workshop-based DPIA service is also a good training event for the organization’s employees who participate in the impact assessment. 

When should you carry out an impact assessment? 

The Data Protection Regulation requires an impact assessment when the processing results in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of the data subjects. When assessing the risk caused by the processing, relevant items to consider include the nature of the personal data processed, the scope and context of the processing, the number of data subjects, and the employed technology. 

A DPIA is mandatory in case of the large-scale processing of special categories of personal data (such as health data) or when the processing involves profiling or other comparable assessment and automated decision-making. 

In addition, an impact assessment is necessary in connection with the systematic monitoring of a space that is open to the public. In Finland, an impact assessment is also required for whistleblowing systems and under certain conditions when processing location data, for example. 

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