The people have spoken and our article, “7 Ways to Prepare Data in the Age of Privacy and Information Governance,” has won 1st place in the 2019 Information Management Today MVP Awards Other category! Thank you to all of our subscribers!
Article reprinted below!
Content may still be king, but now the rights to some of it may belong to the people! In response to the EU’s General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR) and recent stateside efforts to enshrine data protection including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), organizations are revisiting the efficacy of their Data and Information Governance (IG) programs. Laws and regulations vary by industry and company size but each intend to protect consumer’s personal data by prescribing technical and governance standards backed by stiff penalties for non-compliance.
Notably, while many companies are already familiar with records retention laws, these latest controls also introduce a duty to destroy data once no longer required for a legitimate business purpose. For entities that have grown accustomed to leveraging cheap digital storage, this new responsibility presents a number of logistical hurdles.
However, directives on how you may use your customer’s data or any other information you store doesn’t necessarily have to be burdensome. In fact, these new guardrails present numerous opportunities to implement better governance, monetize the lifecycle of information assets and foster trustworthy relationships that can actually enhance the customer experience.
These 7 tips can help prepare your data to support an IG strategy:
Automate Retention Schedules – Legal and compliance requirements are the cornerstones of corporate governance programs. Yet tracking the multitude of historical and emerging state, federal and international laws and regulations that affect your data decisions can be a monumental task that even the most robust law departments aren’t prepared for. Consider leveraging SaaS software to keep your Risk, Compliance and Legal staff current on the latest citation changes to these nuanced instructions. These tools empower you to defensibly destroy and cleanse costly data no longer useful to your organization.
Cover Your Assets – Satisfying new compliance requirements like GDPR and CCPA means it’s not enough to simply know what kinds of records you keep, you need to know what systems they’re kept in and how that data flows between them. That’s why Chief Data Officers and Enterprise Architects are increasingly embracing asset management tools that not only perform diagnostics on their application stack but allow them to inventory their attributes and map related processes that inform long-term strategic roadmap planning. Tools like these also help support application rationalization projects which in turn aid in classification and disposal of unneeded data.
Introduce Big Buckets – The biggest challenges with enforcing retention across an enterprise are “event triggers” that complicate how long sets of records must be retained. For example, an employee file might be held X years following a termination “event.” Big Bucket strategies allow you to simplify and group “like” records together to support more efficient destruction actions while assuming some risk. Work with your governance partners to determine reasonable standards for a Big Bucket policy and quantifying the acceptable amount of risk your company is willing to assume to achieve cost and efficiency benefits.
Enforce Legal Holds – Cleansing your data lakes and silos to save costs and minimize risk is an exercise in defensible destruction but requires awareness of outstanding legal holds. A company that spoliates evidence subject to a legal hold, even without malice, can be fined and suffer adverse inference litigation rulings resulting in unfavorable judgments. Additionally, healthy oversight of records under a preservation hold doesn’t just make good legal sense, it can also help better identify opportunities for even more defensible destruction, cost reduction and risk mitigation.
Activate File Analysis – The tricky thing about new laws like the CCPA is that they require companies to find and produce data for the consumer wherever it exists. That can be a cumbersome test for many entities that have hundreds or thousands of repositories. Luckily, advanced File Analysis tools can plug directly into your network and help quickly identify sensitive and personally identifiable information (PII). They can also help you deduplicate records and find redundant, obsolete and trivial data clogging your systems, also known as ROT. These tools produce a tangible ROI that management can point to as a prime example of why IG works.
Embrace Content Migrations – Unless you’ve only lived in one home your entire life, you’ve probably experienced the cathartic process of cleansing your old wares in preparation for a move. Bringing in a new content management system is not much different and it’s a unique opportunity to apply retention to your data, discard ROT and provide employees with more accurate knowledge resources.
Bake-in Best Practices – Information Governance is not a “one and done” proposition, it’s a rinse and repeat discipline that only works when management sees to it that organizational culture is along for the ride. These days a basic understanding about data handling is vital for every new hire. Concepts like records retention, data protection and privacy should be part of any overall corporate training plan.
By complementing policy frameworks and toolsets with the types of Information Governance approaches noted here we can better enable our workforce to hone their knowledge skills, achieve defensible destruction and improve audit outcomes. In effect, we are future proofing ourselves for a business world destined to face increased scrutiny and under siege from data breaches and privacy issues with seemingly no end in sight. IG is the bright light at the end of that tunnel.
Rafael Moscatel, CRM, IGP, is the Managing Director of Compliance and Privacy Partners, LLC. Reach him at 323-413-7432, follow him on Twitter at @rafael_moscatel or visit http://www.capp-llc.com to learn more.
By Rafael Moscatel, Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM)
HEY BOSS, LOOKS LIKE PRIVACY IS KIND OF A BIG DEAL NOW
IAPP’s Privacy.Security.Risk. Conference 2019took place in Las Vegas over four days at the end of September and was attended by more than 2000 attendees hailing from all over the United States as well as a number of countries. The Fortune 500 was well represented but I also met a number of other astute organizations and took a tour of the industry’s big vendors on the showroom floor. Although I live tweeted the event I’d been waiting to share my complete thoughts until after I passed my CIPM exam, which I did just a couple days ago. More on that later…
THE FIELD OF INFORMATION MANAGEMENT CONFERENCES GROWS MORE CROWDED
First, as a Certified Records Manager (CRM) and Information Governance Professional (IGP), I’ve been to and spoke at my share of conferences touching on best practices for information management, privacy, security and content. What made this one different? Well, besides how well the conference was organized and the venue, The Cosmopolitan, almost all of the workshops were just first rate, chalk full of real take home targeted content and timely. The vast majority of the presenters were seasoned and even the first-timers made the grade. Here we are on the heels of one of the biggest new privacy laws, the California Consumer Privacy Act, and these sessions were speaking directly to its attendees on how to take specific action and plan for additional state directives. The education aspect and sales piece blended well, with technology complementing best practices and not the other way around. And the conference also left me with a lot of questions…
DO WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN?
I didn’t attend the training sessions on the first two days but made it to the opening keynote by Former Chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler who gave the audience a 30,000 foot view and shared thoughts from his new book, From Gutenberg to Google. A great way to set the tone for the conference and then it was followed up by Janelle Shane who focused on rudimentary examples of AI but didn’t really connect her topic that well to Privacy. Nonetheless, it was an interesting takeaway. However, my favorite keynote came in the form of a play by Sharyn Rothstein and directed by Seema Sueko entitled The Right To Be Forgotten. The play examined a concept that we find in Europe but which still hasn’t taken hold in the States. It follows the impact of a young man’s juvenile mistakes and how they follow him around as he gets older, impacting his reputation and his life.
IS THERE A PLACE FOR DIGITAL ETHICS?
I know a number of people who have been personally affected by the internet, both by their own doing and also unfairly, and so this was a terrific way of introducing these challenges to the audience. The problem was that the rest of the conference didn’t really touch on this topic because it was more focused on CCPA and the corporate aspects of privacy program implementation. That’s fine but it left me wondering if in the United States we’re really where we need to be on the privacy front. We seem to only be focused on the issue from a data protection standpoint rather than an ethical one, whereas GDPR and other parts of the world take a more holistic view. Yes, we have HIPAA and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) but it feels like many of our laws are still really about breaches and liability and not about the value of privacy.
The conundrum seems to be that while we’re moving, as industries, toward a business culture of privacy, our culture as a whole is moving in the opposite direction, away from arms length communication and behavior and towards oversharing and a lack of discrepancy. How do these two worlds exist? We know that hackers are now using personal information voluntarily shared with the world to design more sophisticated phishing attacks and deep fakes. We know that thieves use location and vacation information shared through social media to know when you’re home and plan robberies. And despite all of these controls supposedly put in place around the world, we continue to give more of our personal information away which ends up being held as ransome against our companies. Yes, we know we have to share this information to enjoy convenience and in many cases now, to simply survive and get daily errands completed, but it still feels like digital sisyphus. In the age of the personal brand, are there even any private people around anymore? What good is all of this data protection if society as a whole has given up on the ethics of privacy? Besides the play at the conference and some of the discussions around children’s privacy, I didn’t see much of a discussion here, but perhaps it wasn’t the venue. I recently had a discussion with noted Data Privacy Professor Anita Allen, who wrote the first casebook on privacy law, on these ethical aspects of privacy that will soon be available in my book, Tomorrow’s Jobs Today.
THE RISE OF THE MACHINES
So, full disclosure, I work with a few vendors in the privacy space but my thoughts on privacy vendors are not influenced by those relationships. I saw some amazing products at P.S.C.19. The products seem to be maturing and there is a lot of venture funding going into developing large enterprise scale platforms that do an A to Z job in addressing GDPR and CCPA. There are a couple big players in the business and the industry should be grateful for their sponsorship of conferences like this and generally moving the ball forward in terms of conversations around privacy.
What I’m seeing is a lot of enterprise product that is designed specifically for large organizations and a lot of file analysis, enterprise architecture and other similar companies trying to adapt their solutions to solve the problem. The problem is that the problem is constantly evolving and despite a pretty clear prescription in the CCPA legislation, I just don’t think one size fits all. Especially if you’re looking at a capital investment to check a compliance box that might be covered in a more strategic manner. Let me explain…
I had the pleasure of sitting with a team of folks from a major multinational and a peer and I questioned them about their approach to CCPA. It was pretty impressive. They had half a dozen folks attending the conference from a number of their offices. They had hired an industry leader to implement their program. So lots of investment, lots of buy in and it was proportional because their size makes them a natural target for a regulator. One of the more amusing partners in the group casually replied to me after I asked if they were ready by saying, “Yeah, but I’m going to be really pissed if we did all this work and don’t even get one request!” That’s of course what a lot of organizations realized following the GDPR where the flood of data subject requests turned out to be a trickle. So, despite their aversion to risk and likely thorough, appropriate strategy, I still wonder it it’s right for everybody. What about the companies with a smaller footprint and much smaller budget? Does it make sense to have an omnibus-like enterprise product, with dozens of API’s and infrastructure demands take over a section of your IT department?
WHAT ABOUT STRATEGY?
Here’s the truth about privacy programs and tools. There’s no silver bullet. Dumping a ton of money into an existing IT or Records Management program or hiring a team of half a dozen twenty-six year old MBA’s from one of the big four to turn your enterprise upside down (yes I’ve seen that) is not even close to a smart information governance strategy. Unfortunately this is the first time many organizations have had to take a close look at their information and records management programs. In many cases, especially with regulated industries, information management has played a role in meeting regulatory and audit demands but it wasn’t necessarily center stage the way it is now. Many companies have a retention schedule or policy but were probably over-retaining a lot of their data and not taking action on some of the other aspects of it like data classification until the privacy movement came along.
Privacy-centric records management is basically the ideal Information Governance project or initiative. That’s because to accomplish privacy goals, companies need to not simply revise policies, they need to holistically understand how those policies work with other areas of their business like data security and records management. Fortunately, a lot of the groundwork has already been in place at many organizations, specifically in Finance and Health, in order to integrate a privacy-centric framework. If it has been performed you should also complement it with a DPIA or Privacy Impact Assessment.
That said, how do you get the most value of the technology you implement? I think you do that by having the types of conversations that allow the best minds in your organization to become stakeIholders in the ultimate solution. Before you buy product, you need to survey your landscape. It may be that you need a privacy program and privacy protections for your consumers, employees and vendors but your data subject requests are not so cumbersome that you require an overhaul of your inventory and integrations.
Can you use an Enterprise Architecture and data mapping tool in concert with a separate data subject request tools instead of automating everything? Maybe. Consider the investment and time that might go into continuously monitoring a complicated, heavily API dependent and seldom-used privacy tool. Might that effort be better put into maintaining an EA tool that not only supports the mapping requirements of data privacy legislation but also supports other areas of the IT business? Don’t we want our organizations to be agile and be able to swap-in and swap-out tools as needed? Do we really want to tie an entire business process to one solution? Haven’t we learned anything from our legacy mainframe days? Remember how hard it was, and is, to untangle ourselves from those.
I’m not saying that an enterprise-wide product isn’t right for large organizations with a lot of risk and endpoint exposure. I just believe that companies need to consider the process as a whole and take their time building these programs. Although California may serve as the baseline, we still don’t know what the rest of the States will do or what the future brings.
BEING A NEWLY MINTED CIPM
I can’t comment on the substance of the exam as I’m prohibited to by the agreement I signed. What I can say is that like most designations the value I find is not necessarily in the certification as much as the legwork and study necessary to achieve it. The reward is in the knowledge you acquire along the way, not just the medal you get at the finish line. If you check out the publicly available study materials and Body of Knowledge (BOK) available on the IAPP site you’ll see that it looks very much like the protocol of other information management organizations.
My belief though is that this BOK is evolved precisely because it’s privacy-centric. It covers many areas familiar to IG and Data Privacy disciplines but it is much more a holistic model and prescription than I’ve ever seen. It’s one of the reasons I’m so impressed with the IAPP.
THE RACE JOURNEY BEGINS
I came back from meeting with data privacy officials and business people in Brussels in 2018 knowing that Privacy was going to change the world. It’s one of the reasons I decided to engage more fully in it professionally. I’ll be spending more time talking about my journey towards privacy and speaking about the CCPA and related issues over the coming months and in my new book which should be available early next year. The concept of privacy is not just important for data protection and to check a compliance box, it’s important because it affects the lives of our colleagues, our friends, our children, our parents and pretty much everything around us. We need to not only protect our data but we need to value it and teach others to value theirs and that’s what I’m dedicated to.
I’m available for consulting opportunities and interviews and would love to discuss your corporate challenges. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com to schedule a free two-hour workshop or just give me a buzz at 323-413-7432.
We share and store our most sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) on countless computers, networks, and devices. Within an organization, PII can be found scattered in emails, databases, shared drives and more. The new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is making a strong privacy program an essential part of an organization’s records and information governance program. Join our presentation as we discuss:
How are you leveraging the focus on privacy and complying with this new law?
Is Record and Information Governance at the table for the conversation?
Will you and your organization be ready when the Act goes into effect on January 1?