Interplay between the GDPR Articles 25 (‘Data protection by design’, DPbD) and 35 (DPIA).

One is not a ‘special case’ of another as it may seem prima facie. The KEY consideration here is that DPIA is conducted prior to rolling out new projects implying data processing operations posing a high risk and thus tailored specifically to them. In contrast, DPbD comes into play at the very earliest stage of the lifecycle of a data controller and applies to every processing activity (not only those posing a high risk), including core ones.

Similarly, DPIA may just say whether the particular processing is in line with the controller’s privacy policy in the context of the project at issue, but it will not evaluate this policy’s content, etc.

This leads to a clear understanding that DPIA is not a substitution for DPbD and, hence, may not be the answer.

Further to this, it should also be noted that DPbD has recently received an increased attention from EDPB (see Guidelines 4/2019) and national watchdogs in Romania, Greece and Germany issuing fines for non-compliance with Article 25.

More to read on this – in an article from IAPP authors (see below)

Work from home safely. Get cybersecurity cement.

Since March we have seen an increase in cyber incidents relating to the current pandemic. During this period reports suggest not necessarily an increase in cybercrime but instead s a visible increase in the use of Covid19 for tricking unsuspecting victims. In other words, no new crimes, but old crimes using new tricks.

Phishing, malicious domains and ransomware using Covid19 as bait are the most prevalent tactics but there is also an increase in attacks on vulnerable remote access technologies. Out of date software or indeed software developed without adequate privacy and security considerations are higher risk when combined with home networks and inexperienced users.  Work from home has become a reality to most in a very short space of time. Many organisations have had to grapple together solutions to meet demand for example: relying on VPN solutions that had not been patched or insecure configurations exposed to unprotected internet connections.

Whilst security (like patching and pen testing) are obviously essential to protecting organisations, the increase in cyber incidents demonstrate the importance of data protection by design by default. A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) will allow for adequate risk identification and work towards achieving appropriate controls. It is also a robust way of documenting project development to ensure that privacy takes a structured place in design work-streams. Data protection by design by default can supplement and support infosec colleagues in ensuring that the incidents are dealt with in an appropriate manner.

Finally, an essential part of any DPIA assessment is to identify immediate necessary mitigations, and subsequent actions to prevent reoccurrence, i.e. remediate. I have never done a DPIA that hasn’t made reference to training. Indeed, training is the cement that ties cybersecurity and privacy together and creates the strong wall of defence for an organisation. For many organisations, they should be looking at retraining the workforce after the pandemic. This is not to “teach” them how to work from home, but how to do it “safely”!