We’re only a few years into this decade, yet the strategies of 2020 are nearly unrecognizable to what’s most relevant in privacy today.
Cutting-edge privacy programs are zeroing in on trust, transparency, holistic data governance, and privacy by default. These approaches represent a significant evolution from where we were before COVID-19 left a permanent mark on workplaces, social movements, and reliance on digital communication.
As you prepare for what’s ahead, OneTrust’s team of experts has rounded up the most significant considerations for your privacy strategy in 2023 and beyond. We’ve also included a step-by-step checklist to help you build a privacy program that remains agile as regulations continue to evolve.
Build and maintain a strong foundation for your privacy program
If you’re operating in the US, you’ll soon be shifting from comprehensive privacy legislation from one state with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) to five: The Colorado Privacy Act (CPA), Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA), Utah Consumer Privacy Act (UCPA), and the Connecticut Data Privacy Act (CTDPA). As a result, today’s privacy and data protection landscape is significantly more complex.
Automated data discovery helps you hold onto stability in the face of change by establishing a strong foundation for your data.
You will be able to pivot faster when new laws emerge by reducing the time spent on mandatory activities – such as DSAR fulfillment. Establishing a solid foundation for your privacy program also frees up space to focus on operationalizing the more complicated tenets of your strategy.
Enable greater control and transparency for data subjects
It’s not easy to gain complete visibility into personal data usage across your organization. Executing effective data governance while maintaining productive relationships with business teams requires a fine balance.
But the laws are clear: implementing a purpose-specific and consent-driven governance program is essential in today’s privacy landscape.
Building privacy by default streamlines the process of honoring consent preferences company-wide. You’ll also enable greater control and transparency to data subjects and build stronger partnerships with business teams that handle personal data on a day-to-day basis.
Centralize data policies for retention, minimization, and open access
For many maturing privacy teams, now’s the time to sunset outdated approaches to data policy management.
Data retention, minimization, and open access policies are subject to changing laws, including the CPRA. Decentralized policy management exposes teams to the risks of non-compliance, especially as laws change and internal policies evolve in response.
It’s in your best interest to begin the work of centralizing these policies so you can govern their execution organization-wide. Better yet, you can enforce many of these policies automatically into business systems through integrations – and revise them when necessary with minimal disruption.
Use rules-based technology to operationalize policy management
Operationalizing policies is a cooperative, cross-functional effort. Rules-based technology drives successful outcomes by enabling automated actions based on your organization’s policies.
For example, the CPRA is driving significant change for privacy teams, and the requirements for data retention are becoming more critical as a result. In response, teams must clearly define data retention rules and implement technology that supports enforcement.
If your rules-based policy management platform integrates with your document storage system, it can flag violations, expiration dates, and automatically remediate issues on your behalf. This eradicates the many issues associated with human error and tackles large volumes of data with precision.
Use this checklist to develop an agile, innovative privacy strategy.
1. Create personalized user experiences that respect consumer privacy
Today’s consumers demand transparency about how organizations use their data. Respect their wishes by being clear about what personal information you’re collecting and how you’re using it.
Honoring their privacy choices is more than just a compliance issue: it’s a matter of securing customer trust. And in these increasingly connected times, trust will be a competitive differentiator in the years to come.
Start with your marketing. Provide a clear value exchange from the beginning to support a healthy relationship with data subjects. Embed transparency at the point of data collection by providing individuals with visibility into choices they have regarding how you intend to use their personal data, which third parties the personal data is shared with, and how they can opt-out or withdraw their consent. This can be distributed through visual, layered policies and notices that clarify how an individual’s information is being utilized and allows them to take greater control through an easy-to-access trust center. Greater transparency breeds trust, and over time, you can gain security in the health of your customer relationships and the data with which they’ve entrusted you.
The process continues with product and service development. If users consent, leverage their data to provide personalized user experiences. Strengthening the outcomes of data exchange for customers will enhance their trust and overall satisfaction.
Ethical data activation relies on good governance and strong communication with data subjects. Let your audiences know you’re activating their consent, data, and preferences across your platforms and sales and marketing activities.
2. Automate privacy rights
Smart teams will watch and learn from recent privacy rights litigation outcomes. In many cases, the complaints center on violations of data subject rights.
You can avoid this outcome for your organization by automating privacy rights fulfillment.
This process can be challenging when you’re juggling multiple jurisdictions and laws. Your automated rights request fulfillment process should help you enforce each law you’re subject to. It should also provide identity verification and automated redaction.
Since the CPRA extended consumer rights to employees, organizations now have to consider the wider scope of data subject rights they’re obligated to fulfill. This will include personal information collected from employees starting on January 1, 2022.
3. Enhance existing compliance and risk management processes
The CPRA requires covered businesses to document and submit risk assessments to the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA). Conducting risk assessments calls on a complete and holistic understanding of where your data is housed and how your organization is using it.
Despite significant changes in the regulatory landscape, several traditional privacy management processes remain essential to compliance and risk management programs:
Maintain a continuous improvement mindset when considering how these foundational activities fit into the future of your privacy strategy.
To determine opportunities for enhancement, ask yourself the following questions:
4. Streamline data governance and privacy teams
Data governance and privacy requirements are often closely tied together, but it’s common to see these separate teams operating in silos. This can result in significant disconnects between policy development, implementation, and enforcement.
Solving this calls for greater collaboration. Teams should work on integrating privacy governance workflows directly into compliance efforts by:
Compliance outcomes will improve when privacy and governance work hand-in-hand. Streamlining this collaboration supports better policy enforcement, faster identification of violations, and effective resolutions.
OneTrust provides cutting-edge resources for privacy teams on the path to compliance. As part of The Trust Intelligence Platform, the OneTrust Privacy & Data Governance Cloud is designed to help organizations operationalize compliance and enable trusted data use by embedding visibility, action, and automation into your privacy and data governance programs.
OneTrust can help you implement a mature privacy strategy by:
Tackle the year ahead with OneTrust by your side. Request a free demo today.