What is a transfer impact assessment (TIA) and when should this be carried out under the GDPR

What is a transfer impact assessment (TIA) and when should this be carried out under the GDPR

What is a transfer impact assessment (TIA) and when should this be carried out under the GDPR
What is a transfer impact assessment (TIA) and when should this be carried out under the GDPR
Clive Mackintosh
June 17, 2024

Clive Mackintosh, a seasoned lawyer, data protection expert and CEO of GDPR Representative services firm GDPR Rep, looks into the Transfer Impact Assessment (TIA), including what is typically required and the benefits.

A Transfer Impact Assessment (TIA) is a crucial process under the GDPR whenever you're transferring the personal data of EU or UK citizens to a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and the United Kingdom (UK) that isn't considered "adequate" by the European Commission and the UK Government.

What is an adequate country?

The EU Commission and the UK Government deem a country adequate if its data protection laws offer a level of protection equivalent to the GDPR (something we will be exploring in a new series on the rise of the international data representative).

Why is a TIA important?

The GDPR restricts the transfer of personal data outside the EEA or UK to safeguard the privacy of individuals. A TIA helps you assess the risks involved in transferring data to a non-adequate country and determine if the chosen transfer mechanism (like Standard Contractual Clauses) offers sufficient protection for the data.

When to conduct a TIA:

  • Whenever transferring data to a non-adequate third country: This applies to transfers from either or both the UK and EU.
  • Before relying on transfer mechanisms: Don't assume Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) or other mechanisms are enough. The TIA helps you decide if additional safeguards are needed.
  • For any new processing activity: If you start a new activity that involves data transfers to a non-adequate country, you need a fresh TIA.

What does a TIA involve?

There's no one-size-fits-all TIA, but it typically involves:

  • Identifying the specific data being transferred and the recipient country.
  • Assessing the legal framework of the recipient country, particularly regarding data access by law enforcement or intelligence agencies.
  • Evaluating the chosen transfer mechanism (e.g., SCCs) and its effectiveness in mitigating risks.
  • Considering any additional safeguards needed, such as encryption or pseudonymization.

Benefits of a TIA:

  • Demonstrates compliance with the GDPR and your commitment to data protection.
  • Helps identify and address potential risks before they occur.
  • Provides a documented basis for your chosen transfer method.

By conducting a thorough TIA, you can ensure that personal data transfers comply with the GDPR and offer adequate protection for EU and UK citizens' data.

GDPR Rep is on a mission to help every business achieve and fulfil data protection obligations including EU and UK GDPR, FADP and other international requirements. If you are looking into how your organisation can fulfil its requirements why not schedule a no-commitment call with a GDPR representative expert today, or get a quote to understand how our value pricing makes compliance simple.

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