Growing businesses count on a relatively small group of people to accomplish many tasks — especially when compared to large, established businesses. Organizations with limited resources must carefully manage their team’s bandwidth to continue driving towards ambitious company goals while avoiding burnout.  

Under these circumstances, staying on top of the fast-changing privacy landscape can be challenging.  

Many organizations are already required to comply with the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). If neither of these applies to you yet, know that 15 states are considering similar laws in 2022. 

If you run a small business, there’s no doubt you need a privacy policy published on your website. But implementing a small business privacy policy isn’t a one-off project. Your organization has an obligation to keep it up-to-date when regulations, internal processes, or data-related activities change.   

Growing organizations with limited resources need a cost-effective, low-maintenance solution for their privacy policies.  

Rather than starting from scratch, maturing organizations are turning to automation-driven processes with embedded regulatory intelligence. This approach significantly increases a team’s capacity to keep up with privacy compliance requirements without losing sight of their big-picture goals. 

Updating a Small Business Privacy Policy

Most small businesses keep their privacy policies up-to-date through manual efforts — if at all.  

Depending on your organization’s structure, the process requires meetings with multiple stakeholders, including marketing, website, operations, legal, and privacy teams.  

The privacy team (or those responsible for maintaining the privacy policy) will need to monitor and identify incoming regulatory changes affecting the organization. They’ll need to call a meeting with the department heads impacted by these changes and develop a plan to modify the privacy policy — and possibly review and revise any internal processes related to the handling of personal data.   

Once drafted, the new privacy policy will need a legal review and final sign-off from the company’s leadership team. Finally, the marketing and development team will need to implement the changes to the website and notify customers of the change, where applicable.  

Automating Small Business Privacy Policy Updates

Coordinating privacy policy updates is complex, especially when you have limited resources. That’s where automation comes in.  

Automating policy updates is the best solution for busy teams.  

This is true if a company hasn’t yet grown to a size that justifies hiring dedicated privacy staff. But it also applies to larger organizations seeking to create scalable workflows that create cohesion across the policy lifecycle from implementation through enforcement.  

Starting from scratch isn’t the most efficient approach.  

Working with preconfigured templates and workflows helps get automated privacy policy management off the ground quickly and effectively. Because the overall effort requires cross-functional input, working with a tool that connects the dots across teams saves time — and makes it easy to get started.  

And, if your team can tap into an existing network of regulatory intelligence, you can gain confidence that your organization is capable of effectively managing compliance risk.  

Automate Your Data Map

Creating and updating compliant small business privacy policies requires an initial foundational effort: Building a data map.  

Frequently, organizationally-held data is fragmented across sources, formats, and locations. This makes a manual effort to create a data map nearly impossible to justify. And since privacy policy compliance isn’t optional, teams need to find a way to make it manageable.  

Using automation to create your data map is the most sustainable solution. It enables you to holistically understand how your organization processes data, making your privacy policy maintenance efforts a more straightforward endeavor.  

Once equipped with your automated data map as a foundation, you can issue revised internal and external privacy policies as your processes evolve. Then, you can auto-publish the updates to your website, pulling from pre-built templates to streamline the process from start to finish.  

Enforcing internal policies as they evolve is the final step.  

Based on the procedures you have enforced, integrations with your data lakes will help ensure authorized stakeholders can access the data they need. It will gate sensitive data from unauthorized access, enforce data retention policies, and much more.  

Automation can also support this effort by flagging when a policy is violated based on activities within your data map.  

Build Long-term Defensibility for your Growing Business

OneTrust’s suite of privacy automation tools helps small businesses to build long-term defensibility through an effective privacy program. Our products provide built-in regulatory intelligence and help growing companies maintain up-to-date privacy policies through automation.   

OneTrust enables you to free your team from privacy assessments and rights requests. We automate data discovery, privacy rights fulfillment, incident response, and policy enforcement.  

Find out how OneTrust can support your growing business. Start building your privacy program today. 

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