The Importance of Data Protection Management System (DPMS)
In today’s digital and data‐dependent economy, personal data is a valuable asset for organizations and consumers alike. Organizations in every sector rely on global data flows and connectivity to expand their brands, innovate their products and services, and optimize their processes. Consumers, in turn, view their data as a commodity that should be traded for benefits rather than be given away for free.
What is data protection management system (DPMS)?
Integrating all data protection processes and activities (including reporting mechanisms) into a Data Protection Management System enables the organisation to establish effective governance and continually improve the organisation’s data protection. By creating a DPMS, data protection becomes an integral part of corporate governance.
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How can we apply the data protection management system (DPMS)?
In the context of data protection management system (DPMS), the most important processes are:
- Awareness: Effective data protection requires employees to be aware of data protection risks and handle personal data accordingly. To implement or improve awareness measures, the organization needs to analyze employees’ behavior towards personal data, chart the behaviors that present a data protection concern, define the desirable behaviors, and determine how employees will be inspired towards behavioral change. It is also essential to decide how progress will be assessed.
- Data subject rights management: Data subject rights are an important focus area in legal compliance and consumer relationships. To manage data subject rights in accordance with the applicable legal requirements and consumers’ expectations, the organisation needs to have a clear picture of the data subject rights that can be related to the different phases of the data life cycle (for example, under the GDPR, data collection is tied to the data subject’s right to be informed, while storage has a close relationship with the data subject’s right to erasure). In this context, the organisation needs to decide what solution should be implemented to manage data protection management system.
- Complaints procedure: Although the law may not oblige the organisation to set up its own complaints procedure (the GDPR, for instance, only requires controllers to inform data subjects about their right to lodge a complaint with the supervisory authority), it is advisable to set up a complaints procedure. Such a procedure allows the organisation to establish the criteria that determine whether the complaint is truly about personal data processing, and to establish rules for the timely handling of complaints, the creation of the necessary documentation, and the DPO’s involvement.
- Administration and documentation: The appropriate administration and documentation of data protection activities play a crucial role in demonstrating legal compliance. Under the GDPR, the controller must evidence every step it has taken in relation to data protection. To facilitate legal compliance, the organisation needs to ensure that the administration (oversight and supervision) and the documentation (drafting, formatting, submitting, reviewing, approving, distributing, reposting and tracking documents) of the organisation’s data protection operations are regulated by clear and unambiguous agreements.
- The DPO’s advisory role: In line with the DPO’s general responsibilities set out in the Strategic Policy, the organisation needs to create formal rules relating to the exercise of the DPO’s advisory role in relation to the business processes. To ensure that the DPO fulfills its function, agreements should be made on the DPO’s role in raising awareness, monitoring adherence to the policies, and ensuring that the mandatory documentation (processing registers, impact assessments, etc.) is maintained.
- Contract management: To ensure legal compliance, controller‐processor agreements should be managed in a contract life cycle. In this context, it is essential to identify what functions (DPO, legal department, IT department, compliance department) play a role in each contract life cycle phase.
- Data breach (notification) procedures: Such procedures are created to facilitate compliance with the data breach notification obligations imposed on the organization by law, and to contain reputation damage in the event of a data breach. Data breach procedures should provide unambiguous criteria as to when an incident should be considered a data breach. They should also set out the steps of notifying the parties concerned and documenting the breach.
- Logging & monitoring: Good logging and monitoring practices (early detection and remediation) enable the organisation to minimise the consequences of privacy failures, and facilitate the confirmation or exclusion of a data breach.
Compliance refers to the organisation’s adherence to mandated boundaries (laws and regulations) and voluntary boundaries (internal policies, procedures, and similar standard‐setting documents). Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC) are regarded as the three main pillars that work together to assure that an organisation meets its objectives. While Governance aims to lead the organisation towards goal attainment, Risk Management predicts and manages the risks that can hinder the organisation from achieving its goals, and Compliance facilitates goal attainment by monitoring adherence to the law and the organisation’s own rules. Compliance is demonstrated through audits.
Data Protection Audits
Audits are formal inspections aimed at verifying compliance (compliance audits) or evaluating whether efficiency targets are met (internal audits). While compliance audits are performed to assess the organization’s compliance with laws or quality standards, internal audits aim at improving the effectiveness of the organization’s operations or risk management, control, and governance processes. Audits are performed by internal compliance officers, external auditors, or government officials. The organization’s compliance department usually coordinates audits.
As the importance of personal data grows and data protection laws become stricter, organizations become increasingly aware that outsourcing functions or activities to a third party (a service organization) includes risks. Data protection laws, such as the GDPR, mandate outsourcing organizations (controllers) to assure that their processors process personal data in accordance with the law. Together with ultimate responsibility for the processing, the law also gives data controllers the right to perform audits on their processors’ data protection controls (including Data Protection Impact Assessments, risk mitigation plans, and the use of privacy by design measures.
In the future, under certain conditions mentioned in Article 30 of the GDPR, the controller will be responsible for managing his own data applications in his own directory. In certain cases, data protection impact assessments (Article 35 GDPR) are required to assess the legality of certain data uses.
To fulfill the legal requirements concerning the documentation of data applications law vision has developed a new system to support companies – DPMS report offers a new data privacy management system, that simplifies the creation of the required GDPR-documentation such as the maintenance of a record of processing activities, the creation of a data protection impact assessment and the rights of the data subject.