How organisations should tackle their data privacy requirements

The pandemic has unprecedently shifted everyone online. Likewise, the businesses, educational institutes and companies also went digital to continue their operations. The contactless conversations and transactions have now become a common practice. In such arena, huge volume of data is collected shared and transferred every second and due to this privacy and security risk are evolving. There has been 600 % rise in cyber-security incidents and cybercrimes since the pandemic as reported by Purplesec[1].

Governments globally have enforced data protection and privacy legislations to secure and protect personal data of its citizens. Accordingly, businesses need to have in place appropriate measures and safeguards for protection of personal data. It also helps the business earn the trust of the customers and also tackle cyber threats.

What is Data Privacy?

Data privacy is the governance of data collected by an organisation. The collection and processing of personal data should be done in compliance with the relevant laws and regulations of the region. Currently, around 120 countries have enforced a data protection and privacy legislations.

The aim of regulations is to protect the personal data of an individual and minimize the event of a data breach. The protection of such data is done through the employment of measures, safeguards, assessments and compliances.

Any non-compliance under such data privacy legislations can attract hefty fines. For instance, under GDPR, fines issued can range up to 20 million euros or 4% of the annual worldwide turnover (whichever is greater). Sanctions such as official reprimands, periodic data protection audits and liability damages may also be issued.

Ways to tackle data privacy requirements

  • Create stakeholder awareness and trainings

Organisations should incorporate trainings for employees to generate awareness on data handling and protection. In case of a data breach, stronger controls and trained employees will be able to mitigate losses and ensure corrective actions.

  • Conduct Data Privacy Impact Assessments

A Data Privacy Impact Assessment is conducted to assess risk in the organisation to understand the impacts of new technology or a procedure or in projects where operations are likely to significantly affect individual’s personals data.

  • Publish compliant privacy policy

For the protection of data, the incorporation and publishing of a compliant privacy policy is must. It should contain details about the processing of personal data such as basis of processing, retention period, rights and grievance mechanisms.

  • Review the basis of processing data

Privacy laws require the processing of data to be done on a legal basis. Any processing done without a legal basis would result in violation of legislation and make the collection and processing of data, illegal. Thus, the legal basis for the collection of data, such as a legal obligation or a contractual obligation or consent should be mapped and processed accordingly.

  • Maintain Records of Processing Activities

Organisations should maintain a Record of all processing activities undertaken. This will ensure a mapped flow of data and accountability, along with incorporating compliance requirements at every stage such as basis and requests.

  • Handle data subject requests

Data Subjects are provided with rights under privacy laws such as Access rights, rights to erasure, right to correction and right to restrict processing. Organisations are expected to channel and oblige such requests in an appropriate time frame.

  • Incorporate procedures and controls for handling data processing

Data breach event impacts the business due to loss of consumers trust and also high fines are provided for events of data breach. Thus, organisations should thus have internal controls and security procedures in place to avoid or minimize damages in the event of a data breach.

It thus becomes pertinent for the business to hire a data privacy service expert for tackling with aforementioned data privacy compliance. While choosing data privacy services or data privacy consultants it is important to address following action points which should be undertaken:

  • Privacy Governance Structures
  • Personal Data Inventory and Data Transfer Mechanism
  • Policy and Notice Management
  • Embed Data Privacy into Operations
  • Data Privacy Breach Management Program
  • Training and Awareness Program for Stakeholders
  • Information Security Risk
  • Monitor for New Operational Practices Risks
  • Monitor Data Handling Practices

Read more about data privacy services here.


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