Data Privacy Day comment by OpenText

Andy Teichholz, Global Industry Strategist, Compliance & Legal at OpenText

“While government authorities and businesses have been challenged during the pandemic with balancing the twin priorities of protecting public health and protecting personal data , consumers have become more aware of the growing risks around their personal data, including where it may end up and who has access to it. With ongoing news coverage of high-profile data breaches and publicity around new government legislation on the horizon, consumers are more aware than ever before of their data privacy rights and organisational  obligations to safeguard personal data. Our recent research found that almost three-quarters (72%) of consumers say they have new concerns about how organisations  use their data, since the start of the pandemic.

Customer trust is crucial for business success but gaining and maintaining that trust is not always easy. Almost half (46% ) say they would no longer use or buy from a company they were previously loyal to if it failed to protect or leaked their personal data. In today’s digital age, consumer priorities are rapidly shifting to take stock of how their personal data is being processed and used. To this end, customers are more empowered than ever to exercise their rights and reclaim control of their information by submitting Subject Rights Requests (SRRs), with our research showing that more than a third (34% ) of consumers would completely abandon a brand if the company failed to respond to a SRR.

With the help of available technologies including AI and ML tools, organisations cannot only locate all personal and sensitive information, they can appropriately classify, manage, and protect it throughout its lifecycle and apply policy-based retention tools to support data minimization. They can also automate the SRR fulfilment process to ensure deadlines are met and that processes are repeatable and defensible. It’s also essential to bake cyber resilience into the fibre of an organisation. While it is impossible to totally remove the risk of a breach, cyber resilience encourages a solid recovery plan to be put in place in the event of one. To create a true information advantage, establishing an integrated data management strategy will also help businesses differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

Customer trust is fragile, and Data Privacy Day is an opportunity for organisations to reflect on their practices – to ensure they are doing all that they can to respect privacy rights, safeguard their customer’s personal data and maintain their loyalty.”

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