Data privacy is a highly complex challenge for companies and corporate structures that act on an international scale. To ensure compliance with GDPR requirements throughout the organisation, data protection officers must establish and adhere to a valid GDPR-compliant framework at all company locations. In this article, we’ll show you how to do this safely and effectively while using as few resources as possible.
GDPR in practice: complex tasks, scarce resources
In companies that do business around the world, data protection management is not necessarily one of the legal department’s core tasks. Instead of setting up a dedicated privacy team, legal departments often decide to appoint a specialist as internal data protection officer. In view of the shortage of skilled workers and the high payroll costs, the reasons for this arrangement are readily apparent.
But the question remains how you, as the data controller, can successfully manage the numerous and complex tasks of privacy management and create a central framework that works equally for your company headquarters in Germany, Austria or the United Kingdom and your branches in other European and non-European countries.
The three most important GDPR requirements at a glance
So, what would kind of a framework would an organisation need to ensure GPDR compliance? To answer that question, let’s take a brief look at the three major requirements of the GDPR.
1. Mandatory documentation
Companies must document processes and incidents relevant to data privacy. For example, records of processing activities (RPAs) and documentation of your technical and organisational measures (TOMs) must be available and regularly updated.
Besides these two, there is additional mandatory documentation and related tasks. For example, companies must introduce new technologies and systems for data collection. And once they’ve been introduced, privacy policies must be updated. Overall, mandatory documentation requires constant monitoring of your company’s data flows.
2. Contracts and data sharing
Every time your company shares personal data with third parties – such as when working with external service providers – you must ensure that the data in question continues to be protected and managed in compliance with GDPR.
The method of choice today and the organisational consequences: these days, companies are concluding an endless number of Data Processing Agreements (DPAs) and Joint Controller Agreements (JCAs). Each and every one must be systematically stored and archived.
3. Privacy by Design and Privacy by Default
When it comes to planning internal projects, setting up IT systems and designing product development processes, companies should ensure data privacy from the outset by establishing and implementing clear Privacy by Design and Privacy by Default principles. For example, privacy settings should be activated by default if you are developing a software application.
Say you are launching a new fleet management application that tracks the location of company cars – the software’s feature that transmits the exact location of each vehicle should be turned off by default.
Centralised and automated: DataGuard’s Privacy Platform
The three major GDPR requirements alone entail so many ongoing tasks and challenges that companies can hardly master them with traditional means, at least not at a financially justifiable cost. This is particularly the case where company locations both in Germany and elsewhere need to meet the GDPR requirements.
This is because in addition to numerous tasks and the complexity that international corporations face, there are also different languages, local data privacy regulations, different legal systems and often decentralised contract and documentation solutions in play.
Under these conditions, the best way to implement GDPR-compliant privacy in a lean and reliable manner and without additional in-house specialists is to use a hybrid platform – explore DataGuard's Privacy-as-a-Service solution for a GDPR-compliant, efficient approach tailored for corporates. What sets the solution apart is how our coordinator model adapts to your company structure.
The concept: DataGuard acts as your central data protection officer, coordinates with you to develop a privacy framework for your company headquarters in Germany, Austria or the UK and supports the work of your local privacy coordinators at other international company locations.
In this way, we ensure that all units at all locations comply with the central privacy framework developed for headquarters. This framework will meet all GDPR requirements without any ifs and buts.
What makes the solution hybrid: DataGuard gives you access to a team of experienced GDPR experts at all times, along with best-practice recommendations and guidance on how to set up and constantly update privacy processes that work the world over. At the same time, Privacy-as-a-Service and our powerful Privacy Platform mean you benefit from intelligent, highly automated privacy processes.
The highlights of our Privacy Platform
DataGuard’s Privacy Platform is the central organisation, documentation, and process control hub for all your company’s privacy-related needs. The solution has numerous features that allow you to easily set up and efficiently manage GDPR-compliant processes and structures. Here is a brief overview of a few selected platform highlights.
The first question to answer in an initial privacy audit is what personal data your company collects and processes at all. DataGuard uses our platform and digital audit questionnaires to get a quick overview based on reliable answers.
Good to know: The audit runs at your pace via our platform – without DataGuard employees having to be on site and disrupting your business operations.
- Self-directed and process-oriented audit
- User-friendly, industry-specific questionnaires for all business areas
- An in-depth overview of your current data privacy situation
- DataGuard experts support in completing questionnaires if required.
The data privacy audit is the foundation. We then use the platform to automatically create all the audit logs and records of processing activities (RPAs) that each department needs. What’s more, our experts will also assist you in creating documentation for your technical and organisational measures (TOMs).
- All GDPR documents and documentation are available for you to download via one central platform
- When processes change, or your company grows, documents can be updated via the platform
- This means you are ideally prepared for external audits and requests from authorities.
Privacy Partner Management
Personal data is among your company’s most important and sensitive assets – especially when it comes to sharing and processing of data by third parties. That’s why our platform offers you a dedicated portal for managing your Data Processing Agreements (DPAs) and Joint Controller Agreements (JCAs). This way, you always have an overview of your suppliers, in addition to all relevant contracts and data flows between you, your partners and third parties.
- A single source of truth for all contracts
- DataGuard experts support in reviewing contracts
- Transparent data flows through ongoing updates of your contracts
- A clear description of your processing activities in the event of official investigations
Data Subject Requests
Data Subject Requests (DSRs) from your company’s employees and prospective or established customers can quickly overburden and slow down your legal department. To prevent this from happening, our platform offers you a solution that makes managing DSRs nearly fully automated. The core of the solution is an integrated website form that allows data subjects to submit DSRs, along with a standardised workflow that helps you process incoming requests in due time.
- Overview of all Data Subject Requests
- Standardised workflows ensure processing within legal time limits
- The mere existence of an online DSR form strengthens trust in your company
- DataGuard experts help with complex requests
Bottom line: 40% lower total cost of ownership
DataGuard’s hybrid approach combines personal expert guidance, and a web-based privacy platform saves you a lot of time and resources, particularly by lowering both internal effort and your reliance on GDPR experts.
Repetitive tasks are almost completely automated. You benefit from one central privacy management platform for GDPR-compliant rganization and documentation. And for all your more complex tasks and developments, our GDPR experts are right there at your side – whenever you need us to jump in and as your long-term partner for competent guidance.
Did you know that for our more than 3,000 customers DataGuard’s solution reduces total cost of ownership (TCO) for data privacy by an average of 40 percent? Get in touch with our privacy experts today to find out how they achieve remarkable results.
Your top 10 benefits with DataGuard’s Data Privacy Platform
- You have a complete overview of all potential privacy risks at all times and receive concrete suggestions on how to eliminate them.
- Manage and store all GDPR-related documents in one central location.
- DataGuard’s freely scalable solution grows with your company at no extra cost. You will always receive pragmatic advice tailored to your business model from our experts, for example, what to consider if you want to open a new office in an EU or non-EU country next year.
- The DataGuard Academy lets you offer your staff compliance training created by experts: virtual, self-led training without internal effort and with GDPR-compliant and documented success.
- You can also use our platform to manage the sharing of personal data, associated contracts, and all GDPR-relevant data flows between you and your business partners and service providers.
- If the worst comes to the worst, our Data Privacy Platform provides you with all the documents and records you’d need for an official investigation or external audit.
- After an initial audit via the platform, you develop a personal privacy concept with the support of our experts and build your processes on it.
- You receive immediate expert assistance in emergencies such as acute data breaches. As your external data protection officer, we also support you in communicating with the competent authorities.
- Depending on the PaaS contract you choose, regular privacy checks are part of our service. We evaluate your status quo, provide recommendations for action and ensure that all company locations are aligned with your central privacy framework.
- Cookie managers, deletion concepts and recommendations for action developed specifically for your company to continuously improve your privacy processes round off our Privacy-as-a-Service solution.
If you have any questions, our privacy experts are always happy to help. Set up an appointment that suits your schedule – we’ll make time for you!
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