December 5, 2022


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As data privacy regulations have become increasingly commonplace
in the last decade, organizations have had to strategically assess
how they collect, process, store, and sell consumer data. To better
equip themselves for this evolving landscape, many are utilizing
data privacy technology to support compliance requirements. Data
privacy technology allows organizations to comply with existing
regulations and prepare for future regulations by offering a more
streamlined, documented, and in some cases automated solution to
address privacy.

Data Privacy Technology

Organizations have a variety of technology platforms to choose
from, including well-known and comprehensive solutions such as
OneTrust, TrustArc, WireWheel, and Securiti.ai to more niche and
solution specific tools. These platforms act as a centralized
interface for assessing and managing privacy, information
governance, risk, and overall compliance for organizations. With a
lack of a global standard for data privacy regulations, these tools
allow for the automation of Data Protection Impact Assessments
(DPIAs), creation of data inventories, design of compliance
programs, managing of cookie banners and notices, and many other
services currently required by current or emerging regulations. The
advantage of using data privacy technologies is their ability to
centralize information into a single platform to increase
visibility into how personal information is collected and processed
throughout businesses to meet regulatory compliance needs. It also
can automate many privacy processes that would otherwise place a
burdensome workload on internal privacy departments.

Privacy management tools can help an organization create and
maintain:

Privacy Risk Assessments

Often, the first step in developing a privacy program involves
performing an Enterprise Privacy Risk Assessment. In some cases,
organizations don’t have the time, resources, or budget to
perform a formal, in-person, comprehensive assessment. In many
cases, several dozen people across various functional areas (IT,
HR, Marketing, Legal, Compliance, Analytics, etc.) must provide
input. This is where a privacy management tool can help to make
that process more streamlined, allowing key stakeholders to
contribute to a risk assessment on their own time. Privacy
management tools allow organizations to obtain real-time insights
and analytics in order to identify their largest privacy compliance
gaps and risks in order to develop a roadmap for their privacy
program.

Data Inventory

A properly maintained data inventory captures comprehensive
details on the personal information that is being collected,
stored, and used by an organization. When properly constructed, a
data inventory should include a listing of assets that store
personal information and processing activities that use personal
information. Privacy management tools allow businesses to utilize
automation and workflows to query internal stakeholders on how
personal information is processed and stored enterprise-wide. Some
privacy management tools have automated data discovery and
automation technologies that can be used to build the data
inventory. This limits data sprawl and better equips a business to
maintain compliance with regulatory requirements as they develop. A
current and comprehensive data inventory can be used to support the
development of privacy notices, adjudication of data subject access
requests, and operationalization of records retention
requirements.

Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs)

A DPIA, or Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA), is used to identify
and mitigate risks associated with the processing of personal
information. Privacy management tools make it much easier to
incorporate these assessments into existing business processes.
This is especially true if you also have your data inventory within
the same privacy tool, as often high-risk processing activities are
identified through the data inventory.

Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs)

Under current regulations, individuals in certain states have
rights relating to the personal information collected on them by
organizations. These rights include the right to request access to,
a copy of, correction to, and deletion of their personal
information. In addition, individuals can opt in or out of certain
processing activities. Privacy management tools allow an
organization to automate the adjudication of these rights requests.
Privacy management tools are especially helpful in supporting the
opt-in/out of certain processing activities because there is a
requirement for organizations to obtain users’ explicit opt
in/out consent. Privacy management tools allow organizations to
easily track consent in a central location to demonstrate
compliance with these various rights. In addition, many of these
regulations require an organization to maintain a log of all
privacy rights requests, along with key information about the
timing of response and outcome. Privacy management tools allow for
automated tracking of requests that allows organization to comply
with the record keeping requirements. 

Cookie Compliance

New privacy rights that allow individuals to opt-out of the sale
of data are requiring organizations to take a closer look at how
they are handling cookies on their websites. In many cases, certain
third-party advertising cookies are considered a sale of data, and
now require the individual to be able to opt-out of that
sharing/sale. Privacy management tools provide a good solution for
organizations to scan, analyze and bucket their website cookies to
ensure that organizations are using cookies only in ways permitted
by data protection laws. Many of the tools provide pre-generated or
customizable templates for branding to apply the latest changes in
global laws and frameworks to a website’s cookie banner.

Final Thoughts

While the previously listed capabilities do not encompass all
the privacy related solutions offered through privacy management
tools, they do illustrate the benefits of employing a privacy
management tool to automate and centralize privacy compliance
activities. Using privacy technologies in the right way can
accelerate compliance with supporting documentation efforts,
automate complex privacy processes, and provide a framework for
organizations to create and monitor their privacy programs.
 

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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