Solving Your Privacy Software Challenges

With the passage of the GDPR, CCPA, and other state privacy laws, businesses must devote more time and resources to protecting personal data to remain compliant with the various requirements. To automate tasks related to privacy compliance, many companies have turned to software solutions, but they do face privacy software challenges. For those platforms to effectively accelerate workflows and mitigate privacy-related risk they must be properly implemented and managed. Software that is being used incorrectly could be counterproductive, exposing a business to more risk.

At CompliancePoint, we work with customers to help them get the most value out of their software investments. Here are some common privacy software challenges we see organizations run into, and how they can be solved.

Incomplete Implementation and Duplicative Modules

Rushing the implementation of your chosen platform can result in not all of the data your organization handles being accounted for, leading to increased vulnerability and business needs going unmet. A hasty implementation often leads to duplicative modules that result in redundant tasks and decreased efficiency.

To avoid these problems, be sure all departments that touch personal data are engaged with the implementation. Learn how sales, marketing, support, development, etc. handle data, the risk they potentially create, and what they need from a data privacy program.

These meetings will uncover overlapping needs and what modules can be used across departments, reducing the odds of creating multiple modules that have similar functions. It’s also an opportunity to learn about existing procedures and how they can be incorporated into a software-driven privacy program.

When the company-wide meetings are completed, develop a thorough road map for implementation and ongoing management. To improve accountability, assign tasks to specific people or groups, set deadlines, and reporting procedures.

Inaccurate and Stale Data

For any privacy software to perform the way your organization wants it to, it must work with data that is relevant to business objectives. If the data that’s been imported into the solution is inaccurate or missing data fields that are of the most concern, you’re not going to get the full value out of the tool.

Here are some steps that will ensure your platform is operating with the data that is most significant to your business:

  • Meet with every stakeholder to get an understanding of what data they need and how they’ll use it regarding privacy operations.
  • Design the privacy questionnaire used to conduct gap and risk assessments with your business goals in mind.
  • Put what you learn from the questionnaire into action but provide your staff with the training needed to perform those related tasks effectively.

Out-of-date Modules

An effective privacy program needs to be fluid. It must adapt to changing regulations, evolving business goals, and new methods for collecting and processing data. Because of this, a set-it-and-forget-it approach to designing and implementing modules will not work. The modules within your solution must stay current to reflect changing policies and procedures.

Dedicate a staff member or team to oversee the modules. Establish a cadence to review or audit each module. When a module doesn’t reflect the current environment, make the necessary updates or have a regular cadence to update out-of-date modules if real-time updates are not feasible.

Create a policy that requires the team or person in charge of the modules to be notified of any business or operational changes that will impact the privacy program. This will ensure that existing modules are revised, or new modules are created to account for the change.

Custom process training should also be considered. Privacy awareness is one thing and is often available off the shelf. Training that matches the business’s policies and procedures to comply is another and must be developed. Procedural training often surrounds but should not be limited to:

  • Consumer access requests
  • Privacy impact assessments
  • Incident and breach response
  • Cookie approvals and website updates (consent, privacy policy, trackers, etc.)
  • Data retention
  • The process for vendor procurement

Privacy software is an important piece of the privacy puzzle. When implemented appropriately and maintained, it serves an important evidentiary role in compliance and also guarantees a consistent approach towards complying with complex and often times confusing regulations. When spun up as a silver bullet/quick fix and left to sit on the shelf, it becomes a liability for the business. Consumer privacy rights and disclosures can be inaccurate and insufficient thus resulting in gaps in the privacy program and will become evidence of neglect. Maintain the privacy software to reflect the actual data processing activities and requirements and you will be in good shape, just do not think that will happen on its own without people and oversight. Don’t let the license fee become a legal liability, keep it updated.

To learn more about getting the most out of your software, watch out Maximizing Your Privacy Software Investment webinar.

At CompliancePoint, we have a team of privacy professionals that can help your organization solve its privacy software challenges and maximize the value of the tool. We can also help design, implement, and manage a privacy program that meets all relevant requirements. Contact us at to learn more about our Privacy Software Optimization services and other privacy services.

Finding a credible expert with the appropriate background, expertise, and credentials can be difficult. CompliancePoint is here to help.