One of the primary rights highlighted by privacy regulations, like GDPR and CCPA, is the right to access data. This right, which is detailed in Article 15 of GDPR, states that consumers have the right to know what personal information a particular company holds.
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Customers can request a copy of this information and should receive a full report. Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs) may lead to additional requests to delete some or all of the company’s data on the user.
Some laws set a deadline for businesses to collect the data and demand they offer access in a timely manner. Currently, the acceptable time frame for a GDPR request is one month with extensions granted for more complex requests. CCPA, on the other hand, stipulates that companies must respond within 45 days with provisions for a 45-day extension.
The numbers tell an alarming story
Meeting these timeframes sounds pretty simple, right? Well, not exactly. A closer look at the statistics related to the right to access reveals a severe problem. Without the right tools and technology, complying with the law is no easy task. Gartner’s research finds that each manually-managed DSAR costs more than $1,400, and companies fail to meet the requirements time after time.
A study titled “GDPR: When the Right to Access Personal Data Becomes a Threat” found that more than 50% of data controllers had flaws in data access procedures that expose them and their organizations to fines. Other research found that over 50% of companies fail to offer full access on time to comply with GDPR.
Businesses also face a rapidly growing number of requests. Following Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, businesses worldwide experienced a surge in DSARs. During the current Covid-19 pandemic, companies report another sudden surge, which has led the Data Protection Commission to recommend extending the response time for some businesses.
In addition to heavy fines, companies that fail to provide easy access, risk harming their reputation. It might seem as if they have something to hide or lack adequate control over sensitive user information. This could damage the overall user trust and customers’ willingness to share information and use companies’ services.
When data is the problem, data protection compliance software is the solution
As is typically the case with online privacy, everything starts and ends with user data.
The reason companies struggle to provide easy access to a user’s data is because they must first locate and organize it. When multiple databases hold fragments of data but not all of it, each access request sends Compliance and IT teams on a wild, expensive, and often, unsuccessful goose chase.
In other words, to offer users access to their personal data, companies must gain full and easy access themselves. When the information is scattered all over the place, they find it challenging to comply with the law, and fail to answer customer needs.
The right data compliance creates a personal data space for each user, solving this issue once and for all. User-centric data protection compliance management software lets companies handle any customer’s personal information in a way that is clean, fresh, holistic and ready for immediate access. Companies gain a 360-degree view of each individual user’s data and the ability to change or delete specific information as needed.
After embracing the right data compliance software, companies no longer have to spend long hours and hefty budgets manually handling DSARs, nor risk fines and brand damage. Businesses gain peace of mind in knowing that required data can be easily shared with users. Data compliance software can increase users’ trust and loyalty by letting audiences know they’re in good hands, and so is their data.