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Data Privacy

Understanding Data Privacy Management & How To Automate Compliance

Sam Noss, May 25, 2023

Consumer privacy awareness is increasing around the globe every year — 60% of people are concerned about their online privacy, and 79% of people expect to have control over how their data is used by a business, according to a 2022 DataGrail report. As a result, businesses are rightfully improving and expanding their data privacy management efforts.

What is Data Privacy Management?

Data privacy management is an umbrella term describing the organizational use of privacy frameworks and tools to protect people’s privacy rights, educate and inform them, give them control over their data, and adhere to applicable regulations.

Privacy management goes beyond keeping companies from breaking privacy laws. An effective, proactive privacy program builds trust with customers, employees, and other stakeholders by demonstrating the protection of their personal data — particularly sensitive data — and providing them with control.

Companies leveraging comprehensive privacy programs will find it easier to keep ahead of privacy regulations, build trust with transparency, outsmart risk, and use privacy as a business differentiator.

Understanding Data Privacy Laws and Regulations

Increasing privacy awareness means people are demanding more data security protections and better data privacy laws and data privacy regulations dedicated to protecting their rights. Some privacy laws don’t cover data security protection in-depth and may have separate data breach laws.

Data Privacy vs. Data Security: What’s the Difference?

While data privacy and data security overlap, there are some key differences between the two. Data privacy relates to giving consumers control over their data, while data security concerns a company’s duty to protect that same, sensitive data from threats. 

The Generally Accepted Privacy Principles describe “Security for privacy” as “The entity protects personal information against unauthorized access (both physical and logical).”

A comprehensive data privacy management framework should help cover both privacy and security efforts following regulatory requirements. Privacy-focused steps like uncovering and dealing with shadow IT via data mapping can help support more comprehensive security programs.

The regulatory compliance landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace as states add legislation and privacy starts to come back into focus at the federal level. It’s vital for companies to stay on top of the various privacy laws they need to follow to avoid using illegal privacy practices which can lead to severe penalties and detrimental reputational damage.

Below are just a few data privacy regulations for companies to be aware of.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

  • The United States doesn’t have a singular, standardized federal data privacy law covering all forms of consumer data use. Instead, it has a mixture of laws covering distinct industries or data categories in specific circumstances, including HIPAA.
  • First established in 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was designed to create security controls for healthcare consumers’ protected health information (PHI) from being disclosed without a patient’s consent or knowledge.

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

  • Officially passed in 2018 and amended in 2020, the CCPA represents a new set of California privacy rights granted to the California resident consumer aiming to provide individuals with more control over personal information, in addition to more transparency about the use and sale of their data. 
  • These rights include the right to know what personal data is being used and how it’s shared, the right to personal data deletion wherever lawful or reasonable, the right to opt out of for-profit, third-party data sales (with exceptions), and the right to non-discrimination regarding their choice to exercise the above rights. 
  • The CCPA is relevant and applicable to most businesses or organizations depending on size, including data brokers, that deal with consumers in the state of California. 

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

  • The GDPR is the European Union’s flagship data protection (i.e. data privacy) law. It’s comprehensive, expansive, and far-reaching, and sets a high global bar for protecting the privacy rights and freedoms of individuals. Since its commencement in May 2018, it’s inspired a series of global legislative reforms. 
  • The GDPR applies to any organization processing the personal data of Europeans in any capacity and from any jurisdiction. Understanding and abiding by the GDPR‘s core principles and broadly applicable obligations has become a necessary focal point for organizations around the world, as the failure to comply with its requirements can result in administrative fines of up to 2 – 4% of global profits.

A good example of a company learning the importance of data privacy management the hard way comes from the 2018 British Airways incident.

In 2018, British Airways suffered a data breach exposing the personally identifiable information (PII) and financial data of more than 400,000 customers. The breach was a result of a cyber attack exploiting vulnerabilities in the company’s data submission forms. 

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that British Airways lacked adequate security measures to protect customer data, violating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As a result, the ICO fined British Airways £20 million.

5 Key Concepts for Data Privacy Management

Organizations should understand these concepts to develop effective privacy management strategies and comply with regulatory requirements.

  • Data Minimization 

    • Organizations should operate data collection and processing with the minimum amount of personal data necessary to achieve business purposes. This includes limiting the processing of sensitive data and Personally Identifiable Information (PII). They should develop data retention policies and classification schemes, and establish data management roles and responsibilities.
  • Consent Management

    • Obtaining an individual’s explicit and informed consent before collecting and processing their personal data is crucial for protecting their privacy. All expressions of consent must be well-documented and accessible.
  • Data Security

    • As an important module of risk management, organizations must implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect against unauthorized access, data breaches, and other security risks with tools like access controls and more.
  • Transparency and Accountability

    • Organizations should establish comprehensive policies and procedures for responding to Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs), Data Subject Requests (DSRs), and data breaches, and provide clear, concise privacy notices to maintain data subject trust. Conducting regular data protection impact assessments (DPIAs), privacy impact assessments (PIAs), and risk management processes can help organizations stay accountable by identifying and outsmarting privacy risks associated with data processing activities.
  • Data Governance

    • Per Google Cloud, “Data governance is everything you do to ensure data is secure, private, accurate, available, and usable. It includes the actions people must take, the processes they must follow, and the technology that supports them throughout the data life cycle.”
    • Governance is an important piece of the governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) management puzzle.

Automation With Data Privacy Management Software

The modern company’s tech stack seems to grow every day, which means massive amounts of data collection and storage across a company’s systems are occurring, sometimes without the organization’s knowledge.

It’s becoming nearly impossible to maintain high levels of brand trust, stay in regulatory compliance, and outsmart risk with a manual data privacy program. Organizations should look to powerfully automated software solutions and modules for comprehensive data privacy management.

The right software will leverage automation to assist companies with managing: 

  • Data discovery
  • Data mapping
  • Data inventory
  • Data classification
  • Risk assessments
  • Data retention minimization
  • Regulatory and legal privacy compliance
  • Privacy requests
  • DPIAs/PIAs
  • GRC

What are the benefits of automating your privacy management?

  • Build Trust
    • Leaning on automation to keep customer data — and loyalty — safe and secure and stay abreast of current privacy laws helps build trust with all stakeholders.
  • Outsmart Risk
    • Organizations can achieve privacy management peace of mind with an automated solution that simplifies compliance management across jurisdictions while streamlining complex, day-to-day privacy operations to reduce risk debt.

DataGrail’s integrated platform can help enhance an existing privacy program or build one from scratch to ensure regulatory compliance, reduce privacy risk, and support data management. We make it easy for our customers to achieve privacy peace of mind because they know our Responsible Automation is always working to outsmart their business risk and keep brand trust safe.

Key Features of Data Privacy Management Software

When organizations are looking to build a privacy program from the ground up or take their program to the next level, they must search for a data privacy management partner, not just a vendor. Today, SaaS solutions are easy to find, but it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting when you use one.

With DataGrail, you’re getting a privacy partner that’s completely vertically integrated. What does that mean? It means we built our products foundationally instead of by acquiring companies or new, external technologies. Because of this, all of our tools seamlessly integrate and provide you with the strongest, most comprehensive privacy control center on the market. 

DataGrail customers enjoy:

  • The tools to run a comprehensive privacy program ensuring continual regulatory compliance
  • One, centralized Privacy Dashboard that unlocks a comprehensive view of privacy risk and impact
  • Highly automated, accurate privacy workflows like assessments, DSR fulfillment, and data mapping
  • Removing human error-prone manual privacy tasks and increasing proactive risk management 
  • Customized, user-friendly data subject request templates 
  • Truly live data mapping and discovery for up-to-date data inventory and classification
  • Notifications and alerts for privacy regulations

👉 Read more about DSAR Software

The Bottom Line: Data Privacy Management Matters

Implementing privacy management software provides executives, privacy pros, CISOs, and cybersecurity employees with the necessary tools and features to streamline compliance management workflows, manage privacy risk, and maintain regulatory compliance, ultimately protecting their organization’s reputation, avoiding illegal privacy activity, and staying away from costly fines and penalties.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are some of the pricing and costs associated with privacy management software?
    • Each privacy management software provider you evaluate may have a different approach to pricing. Across the industry, providers may price their data privacy programs on subscription-based models, licensing costs, or even per integration. Be wary: Pricing per integration means customers may avoid integrating all third-party apps which can expose them to risk and regulatory compliance issues.
  • What is GRC?
    • Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) is a framework that helps align IT, cybersecurity, privacy, and general business operations.
  • What is personally identifiable information (PII)?
    • PII is essentially any type of information that can identify or be used to identify a specific individual.
  • What are cookies and cookie consent?
    • The term “cookies” refers to small text files downloaded to a user’s device or browser when they visit a website. Cookie consent banners are pop-up messages that appear on websites to inform visitors about the use of cookies and to obtain their consent to collect and process their personal data

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