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Data Privacy

Takeaways From Our Launch Event, Outsmart Risk

Sam Noss, April 14, 2023

Consumer interest in data privacy is set to continue rising in 2023. However, many companies are still struggling to get a handle on privacy issues despite the inherent business risks of capturing personal data across third-party and internal systems.

To help organizations and privacy professionals realize a robust privacy program can be a differentiator, DataGrail hosted Outsmart Risk. The exciting hour featured a panel discussion with industry leaders covering the relationship between business risk and privacy, DataGrail’s first annual Privacy Program Awards, and a live demo of the newly launched Privacy Dashboard.

Let’s dive into the highlights.

Data Privacy & Business Risk

Former Levi’s CISO Steve Zalewski and Drata’s GRC Office Lead Ari Mojiri led our panel discussion, moderated by Privacy Consultant Merry Marwig and State Senator DeAndrea Salvador.

Outsmart Risk: The DNA of Risk

It began with an overview of why privacy matters to our panelists. Zalewski started the conversation by saying the answer for him concerning his time at Levi’s is “very simple.”

“Levi’s is a fashion manufacturer of jeans; in that capacity, our brand was the most important thing. You can buy jeans anywhere and we wanted to make sure you bought from us,” said Zalewski. “From that perspective, the social contract I had with every one of our customers to make sure we maintained your privacy data appropriately and consistently was job one.”

“If we violated that social contract with you and your consumer data was released, then I had a reportable event and fines, but more interestingly, I violated your trust. Then you would take your money and potentially go somewhere else to buy the jeans,” he continued.

“As a CISO, while most people think the job is to make sure the company business data is secure, for Levi’s, the consumer privacy data was equally or more important.”

Zalewski’s thoughts echo DataGrail’s: Making data privacy a business strength can help reduce risk and increase customer trust and loyalty. Mojiri had similar thoughts.

“I can’t agree with Steve more. Ultimately privacy, to me, is about trust,” said Mojiri. “All healthy relationships, whether personal or business, are built on trust.”

“If we can’t maintain the privacy of the people we have a relationship with, then we allow that trust to be breached and it damages that relationship. Sometimes, that damage is beyond repair,” he noted. “These days, with the massive digital footprint we have, trust is even more of a crucial element. If people can’t trust the sites or cloud services they use, then those sites and services will essentially cease to exist.”

They also discussed new research about data privacy trends for 2023 and beyond, much of which is included in our new report: Privacy Trends 2023: DataGrail’s Data Privacy Trends, Benchmarks, and Insights for the Age of Consumer Awareness.

Outsmart Risk Recap: Privacy Trends 2023

State Senator Salvador posed a question about the annually increasing number of privacy requests, the rising price of processing them, and the forthcoming state of privacy regulations across the country. “My question is: Do you expect these trends to continue,” she asked.

Mojiri’s answer is something to watch for as data privacy continues to evolve over the next few years. “I expect these trends to continue, but to very soon plateau and become synonymous with the normal cost of doing business,” he said. “The number of regulations is growing internationally, and enforcement is getting stronger. With so many businesses also having a global reach, the reach of these regulations is inescapable.”

Mojiri went on to explain that companies avoiding regulatory compliance will suffer significant operational and financial costs. “The loss of trust and credibility will impact both.”

Zalewski focused his answer on state-level regulatory trends. “As more and more states continue to offer their nuances as to what needs to be protected, I think it’s a great conversation. I encourage it.”

“Across the United States, Europe, and elsewhere, control over our data is important to have. So let’s do the right thing and get it to where we need to be,” he continued. “The friction of all those laws is where the real challenge is going to be. You have fines, brand damage, and consequences when the wrong thing happens.”

Zalewski then draws a parallel between global regulations and bosses. “If I have two bosses, I might be able to make them both happy. When I have 50 bosses, it’s going to be difficult to make them happy proactively. I think you all also know: We all make mistakes. 

“It’s not so much, ‘how do I try to make sure everybody is happy?’ It’s, ‘how do I manage the risk and the consequences?’”

Outsmart Risk Recap: Webinar Attendee Survey

First Annual Privacy Program Awards

We love helping people implement proactive, comprehensive privacy programs that make their lives easier. To share their stories and help others learn more about using DataGrail to improve business outcomes, Director of Product Marketing Piper Stull-Lane debuted DataGrail’s first annual Privacy Program Awards. 

This portion of the webinar was dedicated to shining a light on companies leading the way with best-in-class privacy programs. Our inaugural winners are Preston Byargeon from Qualtrics, Amy Rose from Crossbeam, Edward Garcia from Okta, and Demie Bradanini from HeartFlow

Learn more about the winners and their awards below.

Outsmart Risk Recap: Privacy Program Award for Experiential Privacy

Outsmart Risk Recap: Privacy Program Award for Titan Builder

Outsmart Risk Recap: Privacy Program Award for People-First Privacy

Outsmart Risk Recap: Privacy Program Award for Proactive Privacy

Across the board, the overarching theme for the award-winners was their dedication to outsmarting risk and building trust with consumers and employees. If you’re interested in joining a group of privacy professionals dedicated to leading with trust, check out DataGrail’s Privacy Basecamp community.

Product Launch: Privacy Dashboard

The final section of our webinar covered an exciting new DataGrail product: The Privacy Dashboard! CTO Cathy Polinsky and Head of Product Dylan Wahlstrom filled the group in on how legal and security teams are detecting and mitigating business risk.

Outsmart Risk Recap: Privacy Dashboard, Risk at a Glance

The new dashboard is designed with customers in mind — trust us, we asked for their feedback. “In speaking with our customers, we heard over and over again that people need to both understand the impact of their privacy program as well as predict business risks associated with privacy,” said Wahlstrom.

“We spoke with legal, security, and executive teams at companies of all kinds – some of them received awards earlier,” he continued. “The dashboard is unique in that it brings data together from across all our product lines to surface key insights. That’s possible because all of our products have been architected to work seamlessly together.”

Wahlstrom and Polinsky spoke over the below video clip. Click play and get a sneak peek at the Dashboard’s intuitive UX design that provides a holistic, easy to understand view of a sample privacy program. 

“We’ve gotten great feedback from executives about the power of dashboards in helping them understand where privacy risks can be hiding,” added Polinsky. “This is because they get a quick snapshot of their privacy program’s health and value at any time.”

“I also think they’ll appreciate being able to point their security and legal teams at the highest-urgency work and see the velocity of that work — specifically, how long it was taking for those teams to handle privacy requests,” she continued.

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