Requirements for a third-party tool

On this page: custom tool, provider, agreement, third-party tool, service
Date of last review: 2023-02-17

If your tool of choice is not listed in, but it does process personal data, please contact the IT servicedesk. They will help you assess whether a tool is safe to use.

If a tool is processing personal data, the following two aspects are important to consider:

1. Who is processing the personal data: arrange an agreement

When you use a third-party tool that processes personal data, the data are not under your (full) control. In this case, you must ensure the GDPR compliance of the tool provider using (art.46):

  • A Data processing agreement - when the provider processes (e.g., stores, analyses, collects) personal data within the European Economic Area (EEA) or a country with an adequate level of data protection.
  • Standard contractual clauses (SCCs) - when personal data are processed by a supplier outside of the EEA without an adequate level of data protection. These make sure the provider will use sufficient measures to protect the personal data and enable data subjects to exercise their rights.
  • Explicit consent of data subjects who have been informed on the risks involved - in the absence of an agreement. Please contact your privacy officer if you are considering this option.

You can assume agreements are in place for the tools recommended by UU. If there is no agreement in place between UU and the tool provider, using this tool is not allowed, even if the provider is located within the EEA, has an adequate level of data protection, or has high security standards. The only exception is when data are always end-to-end encrypted, because then the tool provider cannot learn anything from the data.

2. Security level

The tool provider should employ good security practices, such as regular back-ups in distinct geographical areas (preferably in replication rather than on tape), regular integrity checks, encryption at rest, multi-factor authentication, etc. Most of these aspects will likely be covered in the agreement, and sometimes a data classification will need to be performed. Information security can help you determine all necessary security requirements.