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The Tech Break

Privacy & Compliance: Safeguarding Your Clients & Business

Sep 07, 2021 / by Larry Hoehn

Privacy & Compliance: Safeguarding Your Clients & Business

You probably already know that data privacy and compliance are critical for all organizations, but awareness is only the first step towards compliance. 

Taking the time to clarify what regulations your organization needs to comply with, what complying with those rules and regulations looks like, determining what steps you need to take, and implementing an actionable plan is critical. Compliance does more than just safeguard your business; it is also essential for protecting your clients and their personal data. However, getting from awareness to compliance isn't easy, particularly if you don't have an internal compliance team or a data protection officer on staff. 

That's where our team comes in: In this article, we will discuss two data protection laws organizations need to comply with, why compliance is so vital, and how the experts at Bird Rock Systems can help. 

CCPA & GDPR: What Are They & Who Needs to Comply With Them 

Two data protection laws that apply to almost every organization are CCPA (the California Consumer Privacy Act) and GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation).  

CCPA applies to all organizations with clients in California, while GDPR applies to all organizations that provide goods or services to individuals within the EU (European Union) and EEA (European Economic Area).   

CCPA: A Brief Primer 

The CCPA is designed to give consumers more control over their personal data, including what data is collected on them by businesses and how that data is used, stored, and shared. 

This regulation includes: 

  • The right to know: individuals are legally entitled to know what personal information a business is collecting about them and how that information is used and shared. 

  • The right to delete: individuals are entitled (with some exceptions) to insist that any personal data collected about them be deleted. 

  • The right to opt-out: individuals have the right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information to third-party organizations. 

  • The right to non-discrimination: An individual cannot be discriminated against by a company for exercising their rights under CCPA. 

More information about the CCPA can be found here on the State of California Department of Justice Website or in our handy primer. 

GDPR: A Brief Overview 

The GDPR is similar to the CCPA and applies to all individuals within the European Union or the greater European Economic Area. As such, all organizations that interact with European individuals are subject to GDPR. 

GDPR gives individuals the right to access and control their data on the internet. These rights include: 

  • The legal basis for data processing: all organizations subject to GDPR must justify data processing based on the seven legal bases outlined in Article 6, including acquiring a user’s unambiguous and explicit consent before data can be collected. 

  • The right to be forgotten: all organizations subject to GDPR must respect user requests to delete their data, though there are exceptions to this rule under certain circumstances. 

  • The right to access: all organizations must supply all users with a copy of all the data that has been collected from them. 

  • The right to reflection: all organizations must correct any data a user feels is inaccurate or complete data that a user feels is incomplete. 

  • The right to data portability: all organizations must transfer the data they have collected from a user to either the user or another organization under select circumstances.  

More information about this legislation can be found here on the GDPR website. 

Compliance is Critical for Safeguarding Your Business & Your Clients 

Ensuring your organization is complying with all relevant laws and regulations is critical for safeguarding your organization and your clients. In addition to the points outlined above, organizations need to implement and maintain reasonable security practices and procedures to safeguard consumer data. 

IT teams are expected to safeguard consumer data from cyber threats but often lack the tools, knowledge, and resources to prevent breaches and the theft of sensitive data. As such, many organizations are left vulnerable. To safeguard data, organizations need to be able to classify and manage sensitive information, which requires a detailed understanding of your organization’s data lifecycle. 

Making sure you are compliant both ensures your organization is acting lawfully and fulfilling your legal obligations to consumers and also offers a reputational boost. The compliance steps outlined in legislation such as the CCPA offer increased personal data protection (thereby fortifying your security posture) and confer the intangible benefit of increased customer trust and improved organizational reputation. Improved trust in your organization improves customer stickiness, and a good reputation makes it easier to attract new customers. 

How Bird Rock Systems Can Help 

Ensuring your organization is in compliance with all relevant data privacy laws may seem like a daunting task, which is why the experienced team at Bird Rock Systems is here to help.  

To find out how compliance has changed in the COVID-19 era, please consider watching our Tech Talk: Compliance in the COVID-19 Era. 

The Steps to Compliance 

To ensure compliance, you need to start by assembling a team that includes teammates from all relevant departments, covering all the major functions of your organization. 

Next, you need to sit down and determine exactly: 

  1. What data is being collected from your customers 
  1. How this data is being collected 
  1. Which entity within your organization is responsible for each set of data being collected 
  1. Where all your data is being stored 

Now that you have a clear view of your data and how and where it is stored, you need to review all of your third-party contracts to ensure that all the entities you do business with are in compliance with CCPA and other relevant regulatory bodies. 

Finally, you need to create or update your organization’s privacy and data governance policies to ensure you are in compliance. You should be reviewing your privacy policies regularly to ensure they are up to date, and be sure to schedule a full review any time new requirements for CCPA or other relevant regulations are made available to ensure continued compliance. 

Bird Rock Systems Privacy & Compliance Services 

The Bird Rock Systems team includes legal, compliance, and technology experts, allowing us to offer a holistic approach to data protection and regulatory compliance. By working with a third-party team of experts, you can rest assured that your data is protected and being handled appropriately and that you can easily demonstrate your compliance to auditing bodies. 

We offer a wide selection of services designed to help ensure compliance, including: 

  • Compliance and consumer request assessments 
  • Virtual data protection officer (vDPO) 
  • Legal assessments 
  • Personal data mapping and inventories 
  • Privacy impact assessments 
  • Incident and data breach response planning 
  • CCPA assessment services (covering technical, physical, and administrative safeguards for your personal data environment) 
  • Enterprise privacy risk assessments 
  • Personal data security awareness and training 

Is your organization in compliance? For more information about what steps you need to take to ensure your data, your customers, and your organization are protected, or to begin evaluating your current compliance posture, please contact our team today. 

Topics: Business, Data Privacy, Data Compliance

Larry Hoehn

Written by Larry Hoehn

Larry Hoehn leverages his enterprise technology certifications and experiences to create and oversee technical forecasts for strategic planning while also assuring that your I.T. business goals are being met. He is accomplished in analyzing current issues, recommending solutions, developing best practices, and determining effective technology architecture. He has been with Bird Rock Systems since 2011.

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