Blog  |  September 13, 2022

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Automating Privacy Compliance

In our previous blog, we looked at six programs to take data protection to another level, many of which include disciplines beyond cybersecurity. Of course, one of the biggest reasons for protecting your organization’s data – and your client’s data – is privacy compliance. The good news is that there is technology available today to help automate the process of complying with data privacy laws and regulations.


The Continually Evolving Privacy Compliance Landscape

As we discussed in an earlier blog in this series, the regulatory landscape for protecting data is constantly evolving. Here are two recent examples since that blog post was published just six weeks ago:

  • The recent bipartisan compromise draft on potential federal privacy legislation we mentioned in our blog has advanced, as the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 53-2 to push forward the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA) (R. 8152) to set a national standard for how tech companies collect and use Americans’ data.
  • New York has become the first state to mandate that attorneys take continuing legal education (CLE) courses in cybersecurity, privacy and data protection.

There are always new developments to consider for privacy compliance that organizations need to address – new laws that are enacted or pending, new regulations and new requirements for professionals. Unless you have a team of privacy lawyers and technologists in house (who can afford that?), you’re always getting stuck again in between – you guessed it – a rock and a hard place!

Ten Considerations for Automating Privacy Compliance

Like any other business process, the best way to address changes in business processes both efficiently and effectively is to operationalize and automate. Operationalizing and automating your approach to data privacy is no different – there are technology solutions available today that can help your organization address your privacy compliance efficiently and effectively – while also integrating that approach with other related business functions.

Here are ten considerations to keep in mind when selecting a solution to assist with operationalizing and automating your approach to data privacy:

  1. Easy to Use and Learn: The system should be easy to use and learn, with customizable policy templates, wizards, and multiple-choice questions to guide you through the process.
  2. Address the Core Questions Quickly: An automated privacy compliance solution should provide an ability to start with the core questions that will let you know where your organization stands on the most critical areas, what the priorities are, and what you need to do first.
  3. Risk Assessment: Not all compliance requirements have the same level of risk to your organization, so the solution should provide a rating system for assessing the risks associated with each compliance requirement, from low to severe.
  4. Automated Gap Analysis: The solution should keep track of open items to be completed so that you can keep track of it all. Spreadsheets are not the answer, especially when you have frequent requests for privacy information.
  5. Collaboration and Workflow Management: Privacy compliance is a group effort within your organization, and you don’t want to search for responses from colleagues in email or use a collaboration tool that is not tailored for privacy compliance. Your privacy compliance solution should enable your team to collaborate and manage workflows directly within the platform.
  6. Track and Re-Use Responses: Where there are similarities between the privacy laws, or questions on a Request for Information (RFI) to your organization, you don’t want to reinvent the wheel each time, so the solution should apply (by default) answers you’ve already completed to questions that are the same or substantially similar.
  7. Regulation Updates & Alerts: An automated privacy compliance solution should provide alerts to keep you informed of pending or passed privacy regulations so that you can prepare for the changes.
  8. Automated Reporting to Track Compliance KPIs: The solution should provide easy-to-read, real-time graphs and charts (easily exportable to PowerPoint for presentation) to show where your organization stands on compliance.
  9. Training & Certification: The solution should provide modules for training and even a certification program to verify knowledge.
  10. Track and Manage Third Parties: Finally, privacy compliance isn’t just a concern of the employees within your organization – your vendors and even your clients can put you at risk as well. An automated privacy compliance solution should support the ability to track and manage privacy compliance by third parties – at least to the extent that their activities affect your business.


A manual approach to privacy compliance that’s based on spreadsheets and email communications is not efficient in the constantly evolving data privacy landscape organizations are faced with today. Consider implementing a solution that operationalizes and automates your approach to data privacy!

In the conclusion of this series, we will discuss the emergence of technology to create a data harbor to automate data loss prevention (DLP) within organizations.

For more regarding our automated privacy compliance solution offered in conjunction with our partner SafeGuard Privacy, click here.

Read the full blog series here: Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    Part 4    Part 5    Part 6