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August 10, 2023

7 Steps Your Organization Can Take to Help Ensure Compliance with Data Privacy Regulations

In our last article, we explored the importance of building a privacy-focused culture within your organization using several guidelines to help you protect your customers' data, comply with regulations, and strengthen your business reputation. Today, we will focus on some tactical methods you can use to help with maintaining compliance and further fostering a privacy-focused culture.

In the era of ever-expanding data privacy laws, one of the most important areas for companies to focus on is compliance – not just because you want to avoid legal and financial issues, but because it’s the right thing to do to build trust among your customers.

Fortunately, there are several steps companies can take to stay at the forefront of compliance.

  1. Designate a Team or Individual to Track Data Privacy Regulations: Data privacy compliance is an ongoing process that requires continuous improvement and adaptation as regulations evolve and business practices change. Having a designated party responsible for tracking and understanding relevant data privacy regulations, including any updates or changes to existing laws, will help your organization respond and adapt.
  2. Conduct a Comprehensive Data Mapping Exercise: Most privacy regulations require companies to maintain a comprehensive inventory of all the data they have about individual users. A data mapping exercise will allow you to identify all the personal data your organization has collected, processed, and stored. From there, you’ll want to maintain an up-to-date data inventory to understand the data's location, purpose, and any associated risks.
  3. Document Privacy & Data Handling Policies: Make sure your internal policies document the people, processes, and systems involved in privacy compliance and data handling to ensure data always remains protected and properly handled. Be sure to also maintain clear and concise privacy policy notices that inform users about how their personal data is collected, processed, and used.
  4. Implement a Process for Handling Data Privacy Requests: Most data privacy regulations give consumers the right to make requests for copies of their data—as well as to edit or delete their data—from companies with which they’ve engaged. Establish processes to handle data subject requests effectively, including access, rectification, erasure, and objection. Respond to these requests within the timelines specified by the regulations.
  5. Create Awareness & Train Employees: Conduct regular data privacy training for all employees to raise awareness about the importance of data protection, handling personal data responsibly, and recognizing potential privacy risks.
  6. Document Compliance Efforts: Maintain records of compliance efforts, including policies, procedures, training records, and assessments. This documentation can be crucial in demonstrating compliance to regulatory authorities if necessary.
  7. Develop a Data Breach Response Plan: Even with all these proactive steps, companies must be ready to respond quickly in case of a data breach. Develop a clear and well-documented response plan that addresses securing your operations (systems and physical areas related to the beach), designating and mobilizing a breach response team, fixing vulnerabilities, and notifying appropriate parties.

By implementing these best practices, organizations can establish a strong data privacy compliance framework, safeguard personal data, and build trust with their customers and stakeholders.

Concord’s team of experts can help organizations large and small in getting the ground running or advising on how to improve existing strategies. Contact us today for more information.