April 30, 2020

What is a Legitimate Interests Assessment (LIA)?

There are three distinct sections to assessing Legitimate Interest:

Firstly – What is the purpose of processing the data?

  • Why is the data required, what is it for and to do what?
  • Who is it processed for?
  • How?
  • What additional public benefits may arise due to the processing?
  • If there are such benefits, are they significant?
  • Would not being able to go ahead, be significant? Would the use of this data be illegal or non-ethical – in the way it is processed or as a result of having been processed?

Secondly – Can you show that it is necessary to process the data?

  • Will the processed data achieve what is needed?
  • Are there other/better ways of attaining and processing the data?
  • What alternative ways are there to achieve the same ends identified in section 1 above?

Thirdly – Does the processing impact outweighs the interest you have in the resultant data?

  • This will depend on how you and the individual are linked – a passing enquiry will have different profile to a long-term client.
  • The type of data involved – is it particularly sensitive or private?
  • Would people expect you to use their data in this way?
  • Is there any issue explaining the situation to the individual?
  • Are the individuals likely to reject your point of view and/or complain about your approach?
  • How will the data collected affect the individual concerned?
  • Does the processing include any children’s data?
  • Does the processing include any vulnerable groups of people?
  • Are there additional precautions that can/should be taken to ensure their protection?
  • Are there alternatives that you can offer – including not going ahead at all?

Only if you have recorded the answers to these three sections AND they are ALL supportive of you taking forwards this activity, should you go on and commence collection and processing of data under this Legitimate Interests basis.

Be aware that using the Legitimate Interests basis, means that you are taking on the burden of ensuring that the data you are collecting is being processed in an appropriate way and while keeping their rights and interests safe.

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