Data Privacy Compliance Checklist: Protect With Confidence

April 9, 2022

As your business shifts operations to the online sphere, where user data is an integral part of the business model, you’ll need to think about privacy regulations and compliance. Data privacy compliance deals with commercial and nonprofit organizations’ ability to use consumer data or share it with third parties.‌

What Is Data Privacy Compliance?

Data privacy compliance is achieved by strictly adhering to the guidelines of one or more privacy regulations and laws, depending on your industry. When you rely on third-party verification of privacy compliance, consumers and clients are more likely to trust you with their data.‌

You should note that data privacy compliance laws vary from country to country and state to state. Based on the location of your business and customers, you may be subject to a variety of mandatory data privacy regulations, depending on your industry, such as:

  • CCPA: The California Consumer Privacy Act applies to all companies of a specific size based in the state of California or that have California-based customers.‌
  • GDPR: The General Data Privacy Regulation regulates data protection and privacy in the European Union (EU). It’s the world’s toughest privacy law.‌
  • LGPD: The Brazilian General Data Protection Law sets requirements similar to the GDPR and enforces them on all commercial and non-commercial entities operating in or serving customers in Brazil.‌
  • DSL and PDPL: The Data Security Law and the Personal Data Protection Law are Chinese data privacy protection laws. These regulations are mainly aimed at foreign companies operating in China or that have a Chinese consumer base.‌
  • PDPA: The Personal Data Protection Act of 2012 is Singapore’s enforcement of user data privacy on companies operating within its borders or that serve its residents. Failing to meet PDPA regulations could result in a fine of over $3,500 or up to two years in prison.‌

Why Does Data Privacy Compliance Matter?

Over the past couple of decades, data has grown to be an incredibly important asset for people to protect and companies to acquire. To protect users’ right to privacy, data privacy compliance laws and standards were created to reassure users and guide companies on the best data privacy approaches. However, depending on where your company operates, your industry, and your target consumer demographic, there are two different types of data privacy regulations that you need to adhere to.‌

Data Privacy Laws and Regulations

As the name suggests, data privacy laws are a set of legally binding regulations and standards that establish how your company must handle various types of user data and personal information. Fulfilling data privacy laws everywhere your business operates isn’t always an added feature but a necessity. Failing to do so could result in your business being banned from a region or facing hefty fines, in addition to losing customer trust and support.‌

One of the most notable examples is the GDPR. First adopted in 2016 and launched in 2018, the GDPR affects all 27 countries in the EU. However, it has ended up influencing businesses and organizations worldwide. If your business is based in the EU or handles the data of EU residents, you must comply with its data collection and processing regulations.‌

Complementary Data Privacy Certificates

While not required by the law of any country, complementary data privacy regulations boost the reputation of your business. This type of privacy regulation is often awarded by a third-party organization that rates your business on a set of publicly broadcasted privacy standards. Successfully passing the evaluation awards your business one or more data privacy certificates.‌

The ISO/IEC 27001, which stands for International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission, is an example of a complementary data privacy certificate. Holding this certificate is proof that your business has invested adequately in the technology, staff, and processes necessary to protect your customers’ data. Regardless of your company’s location, noncompliance with any complementary regulations doesn’t result in any fines or charges.‌

Data Privacy Compliance Checklist

It’s easy to understand the importance of data privacy compliance for both companies and users.

The hard part is staying on top of all the privacy regulations in the various regions your business operates in, as well as any changes that may occur.‌

Here’s a data privacy compliance checklist to help you with the first steps toward achieving privacy compliance:

  • Set up a privacy program: Brainstorm with your stakeholders and IT departments to determine the privacy laws and regulations you’re planning on following.‌
  • Figure out privacy management: Determine whether the bulk of privacy regulation will be managed in-house or outsourced to a third-party provider.‌
  • Internal awareness and communication: Ensure your employees and business partners are aware of the privacy regulations you’re committed to.‌
  • Adjust access rights: If an employee or partner has no need for a set of user data, withdraw their access privileges to it.‌
  • Obtain customer consent: Communicate changes with your customers and clients and obtain their consent to collect and process their data for the appropriate privacy regulation.‌
  • Make a post-breach plan: Prepare for data breaches in order to mitigate the damages to user data privacy. Immediately contact customers and partners to inform them of a breach and have a direct line of communication with the local authorities to report the breach.‌
  • Carry out regular assessments: Regularly assess the safety of business operations and how they affect data privacy.‌
  • Onboard a data protection officer (DPO): Assign someone the responsibility to keep your organization accountable and up to date on all the security regulations you need to comply with.‌

The above checklist is a simplified roadmap for achieving data privacy compliance. It doesn’t encompass all of the work you need to do to actually make your business privacy-friendly in the long run.‌

The best thing you can do for your business is not biting off more than you can chew. It’s best to avoid investing in complementary privacy regulations without first complying with the mandatory regulations where your business operates.‌

Automation can reduce the burden of staying compliant without losing any of its benefits. After all, automation can be efficiently scaled up and down as your needs change without having to uproot your entire data privacy infrastructure.‌

At Zendata, we help you stay on top of privacy issues with our automated privacy compliance solutions. We take care of everything from your web apps and internet-facing assets to cookies, trackers, and third-party risk mitigation.‌

Letting Technology Solve Technical Problems

With every new data privacy regulation and quality standard, running a business seems to become more complex. But you’re not alone in your struggles, and there are many ways you can work your way toward absolute privacy compliance.