Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA)

What is Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) ?

A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is generally regarded as a systematic risk assessment tool that can be usefully integrated into a decision-making process. It is a systematic process that evaluates a proposal in term of its impact upon personal data privacy with the objective of avoiding or minimising adverse impacts. Although PIA is not expressly provided for under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (“the Ordinance”), it has become a widely accepted privacy compliance tool and data users are advised to adopt it before the launch of any new business initiative or project that might have significant impact on personal data privacy.

What is PIA

PIA Process

Data Processing Cycle Analysis

Examines each stage where personal information is collected, stored, used, shared and retained within an organization to pinpoint potential privacy risks.

Privacy Risks Analysis

Identifies, evaluates, prioritizes and treats potential risks to individual privacy arising from an organization's collection, use, disclosure, retention and disposal of personal information.

Avoiding or Mitigating Privacy Risks


Evaluating options to determine the most appropriate and cost-effective technical, organizational and legal controls to reduce the likelihood and impacts of identified privacy risks to an acceptable level.

PIA Reporting


PIA report documents the full assessment process, findings and mitigation strategies is integral to the final step of reporting and demonstrates that the organization has properly analyzed and addressed privacy risks.

The Six Data Protection Principles (DPPs)

The purpose for which and the circumstances under which the personal data is collected

The policy regarding the retention of the personal data and the maintenance of its accuracy

The processing (including transfer and sharing) of the personal data

The security safeguards to prevent unauthorized or accidental access, processing, erasure, loss or use, of the data.

The privacy policy and practices to be devised.

The procedures for complying with data access and correction requests.

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