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Privacy Tech | OneTrust acquires DataGuidance Related reading: This startup seeks to put DSARs under one roof

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The burgeoning privacy technology market underwent a significant development Monday with news that OneTrust has acquired DataGuidance. The move by OneTrust, which has quickly risen into the privacy tech space in recent years, bolsters its suite of privacy technology offerings by adding DataGuidance's extensive privacy research platform. 

In an interview with Privacy Tech at OneTrust's London headquarters, OneTrust CEO Kabir Barday, CIPP/E, CIPP/US, CIPM, CIPT, FIP, and DataGuidance CEO David Longford were excited about the move.

"We're bringing the two companies together to give IAPP members and the privacy community a really thorough technology platform powered by all the hundreds of privacy laws and guidance and templates that the DataGuidance team has been working on in the market for almost twenty years now," Barday said. 

Longford, who has been with DataGuidance for the past eight years, said the move came after a series of conversations with Barday and OneTrust to explore ways they could both collaborate. Longford said DataGuidance works with multinational companies and their advisers all over the world just like OneTrust, and with the two platforms locked together, they will bring more insight and guidance to companies that are navigating an increasingly complex regulatory landscape and global economy. 

Barday also lauded the work of the DataGuidance team over the years. For current and prospective clients, he said, "our priority one is to keep a good thing going. DataGuidance customers we've found are largely happy and love the tool and want to continue to see that investment." He said the same goes for OneTrust customers, as well. "We want to keep delivering on our existing commitments and road maps."

With the acquisition, however, Barday said that customers can now access the DataGuidance platform from within OneTrust starting Monday.  

Going further, Barday highlighted what privacy pros and their organizations are seeing with the cacophony of privacy laws and frameworks emerging all over the world. "Increasingly, what our customers have asked us for is that they don't want to build a privacy program based on one individual law or just a GDPR program or a CCPA program. It's more about what's going to sustain them in this evergreen way with all these different laws coming out and all these updates." 

Increasingly, what our customers have asked us for is that they don't want to build a privacy program based on one individual law or just a GDPR program or a CCPA program. It's more about what's going to sustain them in this evergreen way with all these different laws coming out and all these updates.

The integration of DataGuidance into OneTrust's platform also means that the structured and searchable templates and content assets in DataGuidance's platform will now be aligned with OneTrust's maturity and benchmarking tools. So if a company is opening an operation in a new jurisdiction, it can leverage DataGuidance's research platform to access what compliance obligations are necessary together with OneTrust's benchmarking tools in order to locate remaining compliance gaps. 

Longford also said that, though the product is already an industry standard, with the integration of OneTrust's technology platform, DataGuidance will be able to further customize add-ons for clients. "The sky's the limit in terms of what we can do," he said. 

Barday characterized the scale of both companies in terms of their global reach: Bringing both platforms together, he said, means they'll have more than 700 employees with six global offices and more than 3,000 customers. He noted they will have a network of more than 500 lawyers across more than 300 jurisdictions along with 30 privacy researchers. 

OneTrust CEO Kabir Barday and DataGuidance CEO David Longford at OneTrust's London HQ.

With the acquisition, OneTrust significantly increases its customer base, Barday said, and will help OneTrust bring DataGuidance's structured content "to the masses at a much more amortized price so we can really make it more accessible." OneTrust can then use its team of 300 engineers to "do more with the technology, the intelligence, the learning and then the combined power of the research teams and that global presence" will allow the company to increase its offerings. 

News of the integration of both platforms comes as the IAPP hosts its annual Data Protection Intensive in London, an event originally started by DataGuidance and its founder, the late Lindsay Grieg

Looking ahead to the broader marketplace and emerging privacy law, DataGuidance's Longford, who has been recently traveling the globe to places like Africa, said more and more jurisdictions are implementing privacy frameworks.

"It's so interesting for me," he continued, "because I think a lot of people perhaps outside of privacy have seen a lot going on with the GDPR and CCPA, and they kind of broadly assume there's a GDPR model that a country's going to go down or a non-GDPR model. It's so much more complicated than that. What we're seeing at our in-house team at DataGuidance is that the social constructs within a country, how their society is formed, the history of that country, how technology interacts with business in that country, is very different. So if you go somewhere like Nigeria or Malaysia or Bolivia, you are going to see so many interesting things happening." 

photo credit: Move The World via photopin (license)

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