What is DPA & Why We Need DPA


Quick Summary : In this article you will know

  • What is dpa?
  • Who is data processor?
  • Why we need dpa?
  • Contents of dpa.
  • Benefits of dpa to businesses

Table of Contents

What is DPA?

An agreement between a data controller and a data processor is called a Data processing agreement. The DPA regulates any personal data processing for business purposes.

Before we go into further details first we understand who is the data controller & data processor?

Who is the Data controller ?

A person works alone or with other relevant people to determine the purpose for which and how any personal data are processed. Taking personal data about the data processor means a person who processes the data on behalf of the data controller.

Processing helps to determine the type of activities an organization engages in and what decisions it makes within its role as a data processor. According to the definition of processing, data processing activities should be limited to the technical aspects of an operation, including storage of the data, its retrieval, and erasure. 

A data controller must perform the activities such as data interpretation, decision-making the personal data, or exercising the professional judgment carried out by the data controller. The difference between processing and controlling is not very visible, and some processing angles, such as holding personal data, can become familiar to the controller and processors.

Who is the Data Processor ?

This includes the operation in which the data is collected, translated, transferred, or classified to produce mature information. For processing and analyzing the customers’ personal data, it is usually necessary to use DPA.

For example, Google BigQuery is used by the New York Times to get and analyze data about what the people read articles, how long they stayed on the site, and how many times they have used the NYT app. This information is helpful in making business decisions, and between NYT and Google, there is a DPA that revolves around the use and management of that data.

What is the Purpose of DPA ?

When processing the data, the technical needs for the controller and processor to follow are laid out by a data processing agreement. It includes the set terms for how data is stored, protected, processed, accessed, and utilized. The agreement also defines what a processor can and cannot do with the data. The significant component of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is compliance with the DPA.

Why We Need DPA?

Any time an organization that leverages the data on EU residents requires a data processing agreement when they hire a 3rd party to process that data. DPA can still be valid for those companies that don’t engage with EU user data; a DPA is used for craving the terms of business with external data processors. The DPA defines distinct roles and obligations for the controllers and processors. Any two parties working with the customer or user data find this helpful contract.

The DPA was simpler and even disregarded when General Data Protection Regulation was not there. But now, these contracts cannot be overlooked anymore. The information from the European Union Resident in your database makes a GDPR data processing agreement a legal obligation if you want to work with any data processing providers.

Does your Business need DPA?

For any business that works with the user’s data, DPA is needed For example if:

  • You have a website
  • You collect users data
  • You sell online

What are the Benefits to your business from DPA?

If your business has a legal 3rd-party misuse dispute, you will need DPA. Your company gets protected from possible 3rd party acts that are not according to compliance with GDPR or other privacy laws. 

So without the DPA, your business may get at risk if the 3rd party provider tries to manipulate the user’s data. It is a dangerous situation, as 3rd party wrongdoings will fall on the company’s head. Not only then does the company have to face legal ramifications but also a damaged reputation that can lead to decreased revenue.

What are the Data Processing Agreement agreement Contents

The agreement must include the following points:

General information:

Mention the activities involved in the data processing, utilization of data, the party who is ensuring the data meets the GDPR compliance, and the time period for which the processing occurs.

Responsibilities of the controller:

The controller is responsible for maintaining a lawful data process and observing the data subject’s rights.

Technical and organizational needs: 

these requirements include how the data will be encrypted, accessed, and tested. Is ongoing confidentiality, integrity, availability, and resilience of the processing systems and services ensured?

The GDPR demands that the processors and controllers consider how the best technology, the implementation costs, and differences in personal freedom affect their ability to ensure ongoing data security.


Any service agreement or service terms are supplemented by the Data Processing Agreement. It is not only a good document but also mandatory as the GDPR needs personal data processing by a service provider on the data controller’s behalf. The processor sets out the details of personal data on behalf of the controller and the responsibility of each party in such processing.

Read Also : Offshore Software Development

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