Data privacy quick guide: Strengthen your data privacy muscles

The emergence of the novel coronavirus has altered our lives in unprecedented ways. COVID-19 does not discriminate, so we’ve all had to change our behaviors and approaches to daily life. We’ve confined ourselves indoors, learned to be caregivers and teachers, and have begun to appreciate all the seemingly mundane things our previous lives offered. 

Yes, these times are challenging, but they’ve also provided us the opportunity to embrace the rewards of an increasingly digital world. We’ve figured out how to connect with our colleagues, friends and neighbors without being next to each other, how much we can accomplish if we stick to a common goal, and, perhaps by the end of this, we’ll finally be able to see that no matter where we live or what we believe, we are all human.

As we move to virtual life, we are generating data at higher rates and privacy and protection concerns are growing among the public. Regulations like GDPR and CCPA were developed to protect our data, and even with the best of intentions, it’s not always easy for large organizations to quickly maneuver to meet these new regulations. It takes months and planning and sometimes a large capital investment. Data privacy is now a requirement, and we want to ensure that you are prepared to make the best decisions for your company.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be addressing the complex data privacy challenges facing organizations today. We’ll provide details on why data privacy is pivotal, especially now, and we’ll lay out feasible steps to kickoff and enhance your data programs and sell data privacy’s advantages to your teammates. Look at out for some tips around the following topics:

Data privacy can only succeed with a foundation of data governance.

You can’t protect your data if you don’t know anything about it. Data is flooding into your organization’s systems and it’s difficult to keep track of all the noise. Data governance provides a way for you to make order out of the chaos with this proliferation of data. To effectively protect personal information and comply with regulations, you need to know what data you have, why you have it, where it sits, and how it’s used; and that’s basically data governance in a nutshell. Data governance gives context to your data. Building a solid foundation of data governance will make implementing your privacy program easier and accelerate time to compliance

Data privacy requires collaboration from every department.

There’s a common misconception that data privacy compliance only affects certain teams: legal and IT. But that is far from the case. When all this personal information comes into your databases, who is using it? The BI team uses it to unlock insights about which new markets to penetrate. The marketing team uses it to launch targeted campaigns. The supply chain team uses it to deliver goods and services to customers. If you are charged with non-compliance, who handles the repercussions? The data and information security teams identify the organization’s vulnerabilities and remediation measures. The finance team scrambles to find the funds to cover the fines. The marketing team manages the public relations scandal and works to build back customer trust.

All in all, every team uses personal information and every team is negatively affected if compliance is not taken seriously. Ensuring sustainable data privacy and regulatory compliance requires a cross-functional approach.

Data privacy is more than just policies and compliance. Data privacy requires cultural changes.

Okay, so you’ve classified your sensitive information; you convinced a few members on the BI, marketing, and finance teams that data privacy is important; you established roles,  responsibilities, and restrictions around your data. Now what? Is the compliance conundrum solved? Not really… Those are just the first steps.

One of the biggest goals for CDOs is creating a data intelligent organization… and, unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges is creating a data intelligent organization. You can’t achieve Data Intelligence without embracing data privacy. In order to sustain compliance and continuously deliver data-driven insights, you need to embed data privacy and ethics into your organizational culture.

Data privacy doesn’t affect just those in the trenches; you’ll have to sell the importance of data privacy to your board of directors.

Of course, data privacy is important to all business users, but it’s also important to your c-suite, shareholders, and the board of directors. Data privacy affects the daily activities of analysts and managers, but the board needs to know why it requires such a big investment. We’ve consulted with experts and identified five key tactics for effective communication with the board.

  1. Personalize the conversation
  2. Be clear and concise
  3. Show them the numbers, but don’t overkill
  4. Use subject matter experts
  5. Tie every point to the business strategy and initiatives

These five tactics should be part of every communication strategy you have when selling to stakeholders, but we’ll give you tips on how to use them when speaking about data privacy.

Times are changing, but times are not ending! We’re going through something that the world has never seen before. But modern problems necessitate modern solutions. We are here to support the community through these complexities and help make data meaningful.

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