Data flow mapping under the EU GDPR
As part of a GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance project, organisations will need to map their data and information flows in order to assess their privacy risks. This is also an essential first step for completing a DPIA (data protection impact assessment), which is mandatory for certain types of processing.
For more information on data flow mapping under the GDPR, download our free green paper >>
The key elements of data mapping
To effectively map your data, you need to understand the information flow, describe it and identify its key elements.
1. Understand the information flow
A data flow is a data transfer from one location to another, for example:
- From inside to outside the European Economic Area; or
- From suppliers and sub-suppliers to customers.
2. Describe the information flow
- Walk through the information lifecycle to identify unforeseen or unintended uses of data. This also helps to minimise the data that is collected.
- Make sure the people who will be using the information are consulted on the practical implications.
- Consider the potential future uses of the information collected, even if it is not immediately necessary.
3. Identify its key elements
- Data items
What kind of data is being processed (name, email, address, etc.) and what category does it fall into (health data, criminal records, location data, etc.)?
In what format do you store data (hardcopy, digital, database, bring your own device, mobile phones, etc.)?
- Transfer method
How do you collect data (post, telephone, social media) and how do you share it internally (within your organisation) and externally (with third parties)?
What locations are involved within the data flow (offices, the Cloud, third parties, etc.)?
Who is accountable for the personal data? Often this changes as the data moves throughout the organisation.
Who has access to the data in question?
The key challenges of data mapping
1. Identifying personal data
Personal data can reside in a number of locations and be stored in a variety of formats, such as paper, electronic and audio. Your first challenge is deciding what information you need to record and in what format. You should also avoid duplicated information where possible.
2. Putting in place “appropriate technical and organisational measures”
The second challenge is likely to be identifying and implementing appropriate measures – covering technology, policies and procedures, and staff training – to protect information while also determining who controls access to it.
3. Understanding legal and contractual obligations
Your final challenge is determining your organisation’s legal and contractual obligations. Besides the GDPR, this can include, for example, the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and ISO 27001.
Once you’ve completed these three challenges, you’ll be in a position to move forward, gaining the trust and confidence of your customers and other key stakeholders.
Gain full visibility over the flow of personal data through your organisation and meet the requirement to maintain a record of processing activities under Article 30 of the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). The Data Flow Mapping Tool simplifies the process of creating data flow maps, giving you a thorough understanding of what personal data your organisation processes and why, where it is held and how it is transferred. The Data Flow Mapping Tool is a Cloud-based application, licensed for up to five users and can be accessed via any compatible browser.
Conducting a data flow mapping exercise under the GDPR - Webinar
Watch our webinar below to find out more about conducting a data flow mapping under the GDPR.
To help organisations understand what a data flow mapping exercise involves, this webinar will discuss:
- The GDPR remedies, liabilities and penalties;
- Data flows and identifying the key elements;
- The benefits of conducting a data mapping exercise;
- The challenges of data mapping; and
- Techniques and best practices for data flow mapping.
Read more about what the Data Flow Mapping Tool has to offer.
How IT Governance can help you
We have a selection of tools and software that can support your organisation’s GDPR compliance, no matter how far along your project is. Browse our range of GDPR products and services below to find out more, or get in touch with our GDPR team for advice and guidance about the support options.
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