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Who or what is Data processor
Data processor is a person (business or individual) who processes data for another person.

Data processor is a person (business or individual) who processes data for another person. The most common examples of processors include companies providing payroll processing, accounting, data-cleaning, calculations, data analysis, or marketing data processing.

Any data, whether technical or personal, can be subject to processing.

There is a whole range of possible reasons for Outsourcing of data processing. The main reason might be the expertise. For example, companies providing payroll services have the required legal expertise and can guarantee the compliance with legislation. It may also be an expertise in calculations or analysis. Another reason might be an adequate technical equipment (e.g. specialized measuring equipment, computational performance, etc.).

It is in the interest of the contracting business to ensure a sufficient data protection. Personal data processors must then act in accordance with the legislation of a given country.

What does the data processor do?

The data processor always works according to the data owner’s assignment. Data owner decides about the purpose of processing and the processor should follow his instructions. Technological means (machines, computers) can also be considered as data processors, for example, if they are in the cloud. The processor must not go beyond the agreed scope of operations and instructions specified by the data owner. The processor may not disclose or transmit the data to a third party and must ensure their safe retention and transfer.

The processor receives the input data and is expected to deliver the agreed output. The processor does not necessarily have to manipulate the data, it can be used purely as a source of information (e.g. for wage processing).

  • stores the original data received from the data owner
  • processes data within the scope agreed
  • stores processed data
  • can perform cleaning, optimization, and data analysis if required by the processing
  • can perform data deletion in the agreed scope of work if required by the processing
  • can perform archiving and destruction of unnecessary data if required by the processing

Related terms and methods:

Related management field:

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Last update: 20.04.2018


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