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Privacy Tech | Three Ways Privacy Pros Can Harness Technology to Strengthen Digital Privacy Related reading: UnboundID Releases Transparency Solution



Chief privacy officers and others in the industry are responsible for the monumental task of protecting data privacy at a time when personal data is proliferating at a breakneck pace across a dizzying variety of channels, devices and use cases. When implementing new privacy initiatives, there are a seemingly endless variety of factors to address, one of them being technology.

Determining the technology you need to support your privacy initiatives raises several important questions. How does technology fit into your privacy policy practices? What capabilities best enable digital privacy controls? Does your organization already have some aspects of the technology solution you need? If not, how can you implement the right solution for your requirements?

As you address these questions, and perhaps many others that arise, there are three main technology considerations that could help form the foundation of a successful, strong privacy program.

Centralized privacy policies that are actionable across engagement channels

The best privacy policy in the world is not worth much if it can’t be enforced consistently across channels wherever the data is used. For privacy professionals this means that their jobs don’t end with creating a good policy. Ensuring that privacy policies are actionable at all touch points is crucial to the policy’s effectiveness in protecting information, and the best way to achieve this is through a centralized policy enforcement solution.

Today, there are platforms that can enforce policies and prove compliance through several key capabilities:

  • Centralized data management
  • Granular data segmentation
  • Real-time data synchronization
  • Scalability up to billions of identities and associated attributes
  • Robust reporting to demonstrate regulatory compliance

These capabilities make it possible to define privacy policies for each identity profile from a single, centralized point. Administrators can use highly granular definitions applied either individually or by segments aligned to criteria such as age, location, opt-in or opt-out, among many others. Then the data is consistently governed as each app or device accesses it.

Collaborate with IT

After a policy is written, IT will be largely responsible for ensuring it is implemented throughout the organization’s technology ecosystem. By working closely with IT, privacy pros can hone in on the solution that will best address the organization’s specific policy enforcement requirements.

IT can help evaluate new solutions if necessary. Or if the required capabilities are already part of the organization’s infrastructure, IT can rally the resources to support policy enforcement now and in the future as more customer-facing apps, channels and devices are added to the customer engagement strategy.

Long after a solution is established and privacy policy best practices are a standard part of the IT workflow, continue to keep IT informed of any regulatory changes. Keeping them up-to-date about what’s happening in the privacy industry will enable them to work with you proactively to address changes early on before they can become an issue.

Take advantage of technology’s ability to give customers privacy choices

Choice, diversity and nuance can make the world a better place, but up until recently, data privacy usually has been limited to binary code that indicates only “share” or “don’t share.” Technology simply wasn’t advanced enough to offer more options, but this no longer the case.

How brands handle privacy is now a tenet of customer experience, and as customer experience surges to the top of the list of competitive differentiators, privacy is becoming more of a customer-facing concern. Each person has a unique definition of privacy and a distinct idea of how much and which kind of information they want to share with your organization and with third party service providers.

Businesses who capture specific customer privacy choices and consent and then honor those preferences across every interaction are gaining trust and brand affinity. Today there are platforms that allow customers to have a say in their privacy by consolidating data management and ascribing granular profile attributes that become part of the customer’s record, no matter where or how the data is used.

No doubt, the exploding rate of digital engagement will continue to pose challenges for privacy professionals over the next several years. Identity data management—once a topic relegated to internal IT teams managing employee data—is now a discipline that touches almost all aspects of the business. Identity management plays a particularly important role in privacy as it enables many of the important functionalities necessary for policy enforcement. Understanding that technology is available to help, enlisting your IT team’s support, and using the full preference management potential of today’s identity management solutions can equip privacy teams to successfully ride the waves of digital change.

photo credit: the lost who dream in binary via photopin (license)


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