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Performing a DPIA

Updated: May 8, 2023

A Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) is a process used to identify and assess the potential risks to personal data that may be associated with a specific project or activity. DPIAs are required by certain data protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), to ensure that organisations take appropriate measures to protect personal data. The steps that organisations should take to complete a DPIA include:

  1. Define the scope of the assessment: Define the scope of the assessment, including the specific project or activity being considered, and the types of personal data that will be collected.

  2. Identify potential risks: Identify potential risks to personal data, such as unauthorised access, data breaches, or loss of data. Also consider risks associated with the use of that data and retention issues.

  3. Assess the likelihood and impact of the risks: Assess the likelihood and impact of the risks, taking into account the sensitivity of the personal data and the potential consequences of a data breach.

  4. Identify mitigation measures: Identify mitigation measures that can be put in place to reduce the likelihood and impact of the risks, such as encryption, access controls, and monitoring.

  5. Evaluate the effectiveness of the mitigation measures: Evaluate the effectiveness of the mitigation measures, including any residual risks that may remain after the mitigation measures have been implemented.

  6. Consult with relevant parties: You may need to consult with relevant parties, such as data protection authorities, data subjects, and other stakeholders, to gather feedback and ensure that the DPIA is thorough and complete.

  7. Document the DPIA: Document the DPIA, including the scope, risks identified, mitigation measures, and any residual risks.

  8. Implement the mitigation measures: Implement the mitigation measures identified in the DPIA to reduce the risks to personal data.

  9. Monitor and review: Monitor and review the effectiveness of the mitigation measures and update the DPIA as necessary.

  10. Keep records: Keep records of the DPIA, including the scope, risks identified, mitigation measures, and any residual risks.

It's important to note that the process of completing a DPIA should be an ongoing process, and organisations should review and update their DPIAs regularly to ensure they remain effective and take into account any changes to the project or activity.


It's also important for organisations to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO), if required by law, to ensure that they are compliant with data protection regulations and to ensure the protection of data subjects’ rights.


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