Chapter 20: Data protection, control and participation beyond consent - Seeking the views of data subjects in data protection impact assessments
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This Chapter analyses Article 35(9) GDPR, which requires controllers conducting Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) to seek the views of data subjects or their representatives on the intended processing 'where appropriate'. It discusses the benefits of data subjects' involvement in DPIAs, and how such involvement can be realised in practice. Legal perspectives are complemented by insights from Media & Communication Studies to consider arguments and models that could find ground in data protection regulation. The analysis shows that involving data subjects in DPIAs can have benefits for some kinds of empowerment. It can enable checks and balances vis-à-vis controllers' decisions and increase democratic legitimacy, improve the quality of DPIAs, and complement classic data protection control tools, such as consent and data subjects' rights. To realise this potential significant practical challenges need to be overcome. These include the limited expertise of assessors in participation methods, the limited literacy of non-expert citizens and/or their representatives in data protection issues, and the difficulty of creating inclusive participation processes that ensure good representativeness.

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