Privacy Technology, what is it and why should you adopt it within your organization? | Privacy | Deloitte Netherlands


Privacy technology: what is it and why should you adopt it within your organization?

After putting months of hard work into your GDPR compliance program, you have covered most of your compliance-related goals. But you have trouble finding and training your people, putting your plans into practice and monitoring day-to-day operations where personal data is used. In this blog, we will explain how technology can help you with managing your privacy workflows and improve your efficiency, in a way that allows you to focus more on your core business.

By Khaoula el Ahmadi & Tim de Leeuw | July 1, 2019

What is privacy technology?

Technology is a multifaceted concept. In this context, technology essentially consists of a collection of knowledge-powered tools to solve problems, create efficiencies, and extend our human capabilities. Today we are surrounded with technology, from smart connectors that link several devices and databases, to artificial intelligence which uses tools such as machine learning to mimic human intelligence. The most common examples of technology in the workplace are productivity tools that automate your tasks and optimize your output.

Technology can also be implemented to empower people to effectively manage their privacy responsibilities and tasks. In many of our experiences with clients, technology was a critical enabler to operationalize, optimize, and drive efficiencies throughout organizations’ privacy programs in a continually challenging regulatory landscape. There are plenty of tools, automation platforms, and applications available nowadays to support you with privacy related activities. Many promise the moon, but if you view privacy technology with a sober-mindset and clear intentions on what you want to achieve with it, the benefits can have an enormous scale and impact.

How can privacy technology help you?

We will highlight the three core categories and explain how it could ensure quality, increase efficiency and enable you to get things done.

Privacy workflow management: In order to guide your organization to a higher privacy maturity level, it is key to embed technology for privacy workflow management in your organization. These kind of tools can increase efficiency and accuracy by automating complex or high volumes of privacy management activities, such as sending or signing off privacy impact assessments (PIAs) and data protection impact assessments (DPIAs), creating a data inventory and identifying or recording risks and mitigating actions.

Personal data management: The newest data discovery technologies enable your organization to automatically discover, index, and inventory personal data across all types of data sources. These type of tools enable people to gather the (meta) personal data throughout both structured and unstructured data sources with relatively little time and effort. This could, for example, help the privacy team manage data subject rights and keep a data inventory up to date.

Automated document analysis: To support you with taking ownership of your personal data processing from a contracting perspective, technology could enable you to automate contract analyses. Artificial intelligence could turn text from documents into actionable data, faster and more accurately than most humans could. This makes data collection and the potential repapering (i.e. risk-assessing, amending and/or migrating) of contracts more efficient and improves the quality of the extracted data while providing a complete audit trail.

How to reach the full potential of privacy technology?

Contrary to what we are sometimes told, there is no red button you can push to become compliant and efficient. Like most technology, privacy technology is just as good as the input it receives. This means that purchasing a license does not suddenly make your organization compliant and efficient. A particular privacy tool only creates added value when it fits your business needs and suits your goals. Moreover, technology needs to be correctly implemented and configured, otherwise the promised results may not materialize. People need to be trained and aware of their roles and responsibilities related to the use of privacy technology.

The right privacy technology could help you create and manage data that you can leverage in your business. This gives your data more value and helps you to manage the associated risks more consistently. However, always keep in mind that the value of technology will always depend on the quality of a comprehensive implementation package and professionals with the right expertise and knowledge.

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More information

Do you want to know more on privacy technology? Please contact Annika or Tim via their contact details below.

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