CIPP/E Exam Annual Update (July 1, 2021)

CIPP/E Exam Annual Update (July 1, 2021)

Every year the CIPP/E exam undergoes a minor update. This year the changes will take effect from July 1st. In this blog post, we will discuss the update and all you need to need to pass the updated CIPP/E exam.

(Interested in CIPP/US? See this blog post about the latest update of the CIPP/US exam.)

CIPP/E Exam – IAPP: Three New (?) Topics

As of July 1, the IAPP adds three new subjects to the exam:

Machine learning
Ethics related to AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Transfer impact assessments

The official press release emphasizes that these are minor changes:

This year’s changes resulted in minimal additions to the CIPP/E body of knowledge, and the exam blueprint reflects these updates. The number of exam questions did not change“. Source: CIPP/E Exam Updates Effective July 1, 2021

If we take a look at the updated CIPP/E Body of Knowledge (download), the question is whether the topics are really new. We see that ‘machine learning’ and ‘ethical issues’ are actually a further specification of the subject Artificial Intelligence that was already in the Body of Knowledge. The addition of these topics seems to be for clarification.

The new topic of Transfer impact assessments (TIAs) seems to mainly relate to the lack of clarity after the Privacy Shield has been ruled invalid in the Schrems II case.

We also see that a fourth topic has been added: Class Actions.

CIPP/E Examination Blueprint

The IAPP has also updated the CIPP/E Examination Blueprint (download). This document indicates the minimum and maximum number of items that are included on the CIPP/E examination from the major areas of the Body of Knowledge. Questions may be asked from any of the listed topics under each area.

We find that the structure of the exam will not change. The exam is still made up of three parts and the focus of the exam is still on the GDPR part (Part II). Out of a total of 90 questions, 42 to 69 questions are asked about the GDPR. Most of these questions relate to data subject rights and accountability requirements.

The ‘new’ topics are not included in the parts that weigh most heavily on the exam. Therefore, this 2021 update does not lead to a radically different strategy for preparing for the exam. Either way, you will likely be asked some questions about the topics. It is therefore wise to pay some extra attention to these topics. We will discuss this below.

Consequences for your CIPP/E exam (preparation)

The latest version of the textbook, European Data Protection – second edition (December 2019) has not yet been updated with the above changes. The current version of the textbook contains nothing about machine learning, ethics related to AI and Transfer impact assessments (TIAs). Little attention is paid to Class Actions or ‘representative actions’: reference is made to Article 80 of the GDPR, the Vidal-Hall litigation and the class action against Facebook by The Europe v. Facebook group. A new version of the official textbook will probably not be published before the end of 2021, so more information on these new topics should be sought elsewhere.

We therefore recommend the following additional readings (at least before a new version of the textbook is published).

Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence:

Ethics related to Artificial Intelligence:

Transfer impact assessments (TIAs) – see 2 and 3

Class Actions

CIPP/E Online Training Course (and CIPP/US & CIPM)

We offer a great IAPP CIPP/E exam prep course including an up-to-date and detailed outline of the entire textbook (latest edition), IAPP style practice questions and various training videos. This combination ensures optimum preparation for the exam and a high chance of excelling at your first try. Learn more?

Flashcards added to our CIPP/E and CIPP/US training courses!