Be prepared for the shifts in store
The imposition of CCPA enforcement is a certainty, but the future advent of other data privacy regulations in other locales and sectors is just as certain. Even where stringent rules have already been put in place? There’s the possibility of new restrictions.
For instance, the backers of the CCPA are now proposing a California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) that would strengthen consumer rights and increase business risk even further. So maintaining awareness of your obligations under present law and looking ahead to potential amendments or new legislation is essential.
To meet whatever other changes lie ahead, businesses must first admit that this is the new reality of business. Then they have to be willing to adopt the data governance frameworks and tools that give them the flexibility and agility they need to maintain compliance. Only then will they be able to contend with not just more regulation across more markets, but the fact these regulations are fluid, and subject to constant review and amendment.
The pandemic has heightened data privacy scrutiny
As we mentioned above, regulators by and large aren’t willing to take their feet off the accelerator when it comes to data privacy enforcement just because of a public health crisis of unprecedented proportions. Rather, there are new calls almost daily for more data privacy rules that have grown out of the pandemic.
A few months ago, how many everyday Americans used Zoom? But now there are multiplying lawsuits other legal threats stemming from the platform’s alleged unpreparedness to become a backbone of teleworking. Including, of course, a demand for new regulations on services like Zoom.
The use of technologies like AI to contain the virus has spawned concerns about data privacy, as well as how data is being handled in other healthcare areas. There are already federal bills being pitched to limit data disclosures to government, among other proposed protections.
Operational processes are now creating risk
The business processes that are fundamental to many organizations? For several reasons, they’re now a source of risk for those enterprises. Risk that regulators and private litigators will be all too happy to target.
First of all, there’s the simple fact that these processes may not have been revamped
to be compliant with the CCPA or other data privacy regulations. Why
would a company fail to do this? They may have an incomplete understanding of the regulations or the implications for their business, or simply haven’t devoted appropriate resources to becoming compliant – either because they didn’t see the need, lacked the means, or figured their existing systems and processes were “good enough” to skate by.
But the complexities of data privacy compliance can be a very deep, very dangerous pitfall for the unprepared. Especially since laws like the CCPA make a company liable for the data-handling mistakes of their partners and third parties, too. Deficient oversight, manual and paper-centric processes, and outdated data storage practices are a recipe for a regulatory smackdown.
In a situation like the COVID-19 pandemic, the dangers of poor data privacy processes only get magnified as employees work remotely. In doing their jobs, what PII are they accessing about customers and prospects? Who are they sharing it with? On what devices?
Making these processes compliant just demands a commitment to putting the right tools in place. Especially workflow automation for replacing outmoded and noncompliant processes with automated versions where CCPA compliance is built in from the start even for remote employees.
Early preparation mitigates those risks
Taking a proactive approach to CCPA or other data privacy compliance can prevent operational headaches, reputational damage, and bottom-line injury from penalties and litigation losses later on.
Some of the measures to take? Implementing a data governance framework is a vital first step, and determining what your objectives are for the use of data being a key consideration. Setting up this kind of a framework involves commitment and hard work from a broad range of stakeholders in any organization, but it’s mandatory – and the long-term results are worth it.
Then you need to identify what practices and processes may be problematic when it comes to data privacy risk. From there, it’s a matter of exploring and evaluating the solutions available for revamping those processes and giving yourself the necessary agility, responsiveness, transparency, and oversight necessary for effective compliance.