In today’s data-driven world, organisations face multiple challenges. One of those challenges is managing regulatory compliance with data protection laws such as the UK GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and UK DPA (Data Protection Act) 2018 in an efficient and effective way.
This blog focuses on a key customer-facing element of these laws: accommodating DSARs (data subject access requests). Specifically, it explores the challenges of handling DSARs and how to overcome them, the importance of efficiency in managing DSARs, and how DQM GRC can help organisations overcome these challenges. We also discuss the future of DSAR compliance.
A DSAR is a request made by an individual to access their personal data held by an organisation. Accommodating DSARs in line with the GDPR requirements is not only important for maintaining a positive reputation but also essential for ensuring operational efficiency and to avoid regulatory scrutiny.
While most organisations know individuals have the legal right to submit DSARs, they often struggle to handle them efficiently. The sheer volume of requests, as well as their complexity, can create significant challenges.
Yet DSARs have become a cornerstone of data privacy regulations such as the GDPR. DSARs empower individuals to understand what data is being processed about them, and how and why their data is being processed. DSARs also enable them to exercise control over their personal information.
The challenges of DSAR compliance
Complying with DSARs poses several challenges for organisations. First, there is the issue of data complexity. Organisations collect and store vast amounts of data, making it difficult to locate and retrieve specific information requested in a DSAR. You must ensure the accuracy and completeness of the data provided to individuals, as well as redact it, which can be a time-consuming process.
Linked to this is the operational burden of managing DSARs. Organisations must dedicate resources, including time and personnel, to handle these requests. This can disrupt day-to-day operations and hinder overall efficiency.
Finally, there is the challenge of data protection regulations. Organisations must often comply with various laws like the UK and EU GDPR and the UK DPA 2018, but they can extend beyond Europe too – for example, the CPRA (California Privacy Rights Act) in the US. You may also need to comply with other industry frameworks or standards related to data protection. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in penalties and reputational damage.
The importance of efficiency in DSAR management
Maintaining a positive reputation is crucial for organisations to gain and retain consumer trust. Individuals are becoming increasingly aware of their data privacy rights and are more likely to engage with organisations that prioritise data protection. With that in mind, mishandling DSARs can lead to negative publicity, loss of customer trust and even legal consequences.
Furthermore, if you can manage DSARs efficiently, consumers will notice and appreciate this. Responding promptly and accurately to DSARs demonstrates your commitment to data protection and customer privacy.
One way of improving your efficiency is by streamlining the DSAR response process, which will save valuable time and resources, allowing you to focus on your core operations.
To tackle the challenges associated with DSARs and improve their efficiency, organisations can turn to data privacy experts DQM GRC. We specialise in helping organisations embed data protection, improving their processes and building customer trust.
By working with us, organisations gain the ability to understand and test how best to locate and retrieve specific data requested in DSARs quickly and effectively.
Key features and benefits of working with DQM GRC
Data quality management: DQM GRC can help ensure organisations have robust data quality management capabilities, ensuring the accuracy, completeness and consistency of data provided in response to DSARs, including appropriate redaction to protect the rights of other data subjects. This minimises the risk of providing incorrect or outdated information to individuals.
Efficiency: By streamlining DSAR response processes, DQM GRC helps organisations save valuable time and resources. For example, we can help automate repetitive tasks, allowing you to allocate resources more efficiently and focus on higher-value activities.
Enhanced reputation: DQM GRC helps organisations respond promptly and accurately to DSARs, showcasing their commitment to data protection and customer privacy. This fosters trust with stakeholders and enhances the organisation’s reputation as a trusted steward of personal data.
What to expect from working with DQM GRC
Save time and effort by getting support from DQM GRC in improving your DSAR process. We’ll start by conducting a thorough assessment of your DSAR management processes to identify areas for improvement. This includes evaluating existing data management practices, identifying compliance gaps, and defining clear roles and responsibilities for DSAR handling.
Once the assessment is complete, we’ll assist the organisation to begin implementing a revised strategy. This may involve aligning specific requirements, such as data retention policies, privacy policies, staff training, data classification, setting up automated workflows for DSAR handling, and integrating existing systems for seamless data gathering and exchange. Instead of getting ad hoc help with DSARs, our approach allows you to ensure that, going forward, DSARs can he handled effectively and efficiently in-house.
Case studies: How organisations have benefited from DQM GRC’s support
Several organisations have already experienced the benefits of using DQM GRC for DSAR management. For example, a multinational healthcare company streamlined its DSAR response processes, reducing response times from weeks to days. This improved customer satisfaction and enhanced the organisation’s reputation as a trusted steward of personal data.
Similarly, with our guidance, a financial services company ensured compliance with data protection regulations and mitigated the risk of data breaches. By leveraging our expertise, good data quality management and compliance functionalities, the organisation significantly reduced the time and effort required to handle DSARs, improving overall operational efficiency.
The future of DSAR compliance and the role of DQM GRC
As data protection regulations continue to evolve – particularly in view of emerging technologies such as AI, which the government intends to regulate – we expect DSARs to increase in volume and complexity. In our experience, organisations are already having to provide more data protection compliance evidence for sales bids than previous years, and EY reported that 60% of those surveyed have experienced an increase in the number of received DSARs. Organisations must adapt to these changes and invest in robust management solutions that can be attained through the likes of DQM GRC.
We can support your organisation with DSARs through our Bespoke Consultancy services. Contact us through our website to speak to an expert about your DSAR issues.