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    The 7 Sins of Manual DSAR Processing

    Tally Netzer

    Tally Netzer

    Product Marketing Manager, K2view

    In our previous post, we discussed the data challenges that typically accompany the Right to Access Data. Now, it’s time to dive into the specific disadvantages of handling Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs) manually. Here’s a taste of what to expect if you choose NOT to automate your data processing process.   

    1. Cost

      Get ready to spend a hefty budget on manual DSAR processing. Each request will have an average cost of more than $1,400. In addition, because you’re likely to miss a few data bits hiding in one of the many databases your company uses, take into account expenses related to legal fines, crisis management, and more. Finally, your compliance staff will carry a heavy burden that is likely to harm your employee turnover rate and add hiring and onboarding costs to the total amount

    2. Time 

      Companies that process DSARs manually often fail to meet GDPR deadlines. That’s not to say that they don’t take customers’ requests seriously. If anything, they invest more time and effort searching for data on all the right (and wrong) places, sending multiple team members to collect the data then copy and paste it into a single document. With compliance teams’ spending so much time on request responses, other critical areas are neglected.

    3. Error 

      To err is human, which is why human error is bound to happen with manual DSAR processing. Additionally, if your data processing method divides each customer’s data between multiple databases, there is a good chance that your compliance team will miss something. The more you rely on human accuracy in complicated processes, the more you risk errors in data access requests.

    4. Loss of trust 

      Replying to data requests is a form of customer service, and your failure to meet people’s standards will affect the level of customer trust. This is particularly true when data privacy issues are involved because customers may worry that you are taking so long since you have something to hide. If you explain why the process is taking longer, this will not do you or your brand any good. It will display a lack of control that will only make customers worry more.

    5. Reputational damage

      When customers are disappointed with a brand’s behavior, they take to social media. Your company’s failure to meet deadlines or fully answer requests is likely to become a public issue, and with DSAR processing trending, it may draw some attention. An even worse scenario may involve legal implications and negative press attention that will come up in any Google search for your brand’s name

    6. Exposure of private data

      Struggling to gather data from multiple databases is the symptom of a much bigger problem, which is your company’s data governance and ability to control its use sensitive information. With private customer information going through so many hands, that search, collect, and process that data, there is a good chance that unauthorized people will have access to sensitive information. Uncovering this in an audit will again lead to hefty fines and trigger many of the damages mentioned in the previous sections.

    7. Scale struggles

      Even if you manage to track all the data associated with a specific request on time, it would be much harder to do so at scale. The rapid surge in DSAR processing means that compliance teams are continually chasing data, only to receive additional requests and start all over again. So how can you possibly scale?  

    But if you think that the first 7 sins are bad, the eighth one is the worst of allIt is knowing that there is a better way, and not doing anything about itYou can automate DSAR processing with data compliance software, that keeps all the information regarding each customer in individual micro-databases, as part of a comprehensive data privacy management solution. Save time, money, and trouble to all parties involved, and keep employees happy and customers loyal. Not doing so is a sin. 

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