OneTrust and Snowflake: Manage consent and enable effective data governance

Enabling data teams to better understand where sensitive data lives in the Data Cloud, use data responsibly, and ensure proper consent is granted for personal data access and use

Param Gopalasamy
Content Marketing Specialist, CIPP/E, CIPP/US, CIPM
August 31, 2023

Two women discuss business in a conference room.

The seamless integration between Snowflake, a cloud-based data storage platform, and OneTrust, the #1 most widely used trust intelligence platform helps companies power their data management with privacy-first processes. Let’s dive into the intricacies of the "Snowflake Integration" and explain how it functions.

“Developers, data scientists, and data engineers need a trust and safety layer when accessing, using, and manipulating data,” said Blake Brannon, Chief Product & Strategy Officer at OneTrust. “OneTrust Privacy & Data Governance and Snowflake help them understand if they’re using personal and sensitive data, ensure the right access policies are enforced, and feel confident that data is being used responsibly across the business.”


Elevating security with column masking

The first prominent feature of this integration is column masking, an intelligent method to limit sensitive data visibility, enhancing data privacy and security.

Here's how it works: OneTrust Data Discovery scans the data stored in the Snowflake database, applying a 'restricted' tag to data columns where sensitive data is found. Consequently, tagged data becomes masked in Snowflake for specific roles, maintaining the privacy of sensitive information. All data is still available for administrative or authorized uses.

The process to enable column masking in Snowflake is relatively straightforward. 

1.  First, the integration credentials, including the username and password for the Snowflake database, must be configured.

2. Then a workflow is set in the database, using the integration connection.

3. This sets a rule, which when triggered, sets off a classification tag in OneTrust. 

a. As a result, column masking is applied through a direct query to Snowflake. 

4. Lastly, the Snowflake database is scanned to apply this rule, ensuring all data is protected as per your security parameters.


Enhancing user consent management


On-demand webinar coming soon...


Another significant capability of the Snowflake and OneTrust integration is consent management. This feature allows data subjects to update their consent preferences via OneTrust, which then triggers a role-specific access policy in Snowflake. The access to a data subject’s information then depends on the role being used, promoting user autonomy and data rights.

To initiate this feature, 

1.  Load the Snowflake credentials into OneTrust to access the database. 

2. Next, a connection configuration is set up, which includes a workflow trigger when consent is updated. 

3. Once triggered, Snowflake checks if the connection is present. 

a. If it is, access to the person's data is adjusted, becoming restricted or unrestricted based on their preferences and the role being used. 

4. Finally, a role access policy is configured, safeguarding the privacy rights of the data subject.


What are the key benefits of the integration?

The Snowflake and OneTrust integration allows businesses to better manage and protect their data, while still supporting the needs of the business. Column Masking and Consent Management, the key features of this integration, elevate data privacy to ensure that sensitive information remains secure and personal preferences are respected and used based on purpose.

The integration creates a robust, secure environment where the data lifecycle — from collection, storage, processing to access — is under stringent controls. It paves the way for an advanced approach to data privacy and compliance, ensuring businesses meet global privacy regulations while maintaining a trust-based relationship with their clients.


How does this integration affect AI governance?

The OneTrust approach to data governance helps use cases for artificial intelligence (AI) by making sure all data in the Snowflake Data Cloud has the appropriate "do not train" data labels applied. This prevents sensitive or unauthorized data from being used in machine learning (ML) training. The automation of privacy and compliance standards on the processing of regulated and personal data is made easier by this level of detail.

To learn more about how the OneTrust integration with Snowflake can help your organization, request a demo today

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