Clarifying data processing requests today
In our digital and ever-connected business environment, the exchange of data happens everywhere. From using analytical tools to understand website traffic, storing HR data in the cloud outsourcing processes to an external provider or enabling client advisors with smart sales apps: data is being collected, processed and transferred all the time.
Data is the new wealth, and as such, it needs protection, so legislators around the world are racing to introduce new and more restrictive regulations, with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) being just one prominent example. The overarching aim of all these laws is to protect personal data in particular.
What does this mean for financial institutions? In the first place, it raises the bar of compliance requirements for a growing number of their business activities. To meet the regulatory demand, internal data protection teams are handling an unprecedented amount of requests for project support and legal clarifications. One thing that remained constant despite the increased workload is the outdated tools: legal opinions are obtained on a case-by-case basis and in traditional text-based format from external law firms.
There are no winners:
- Project teams or business analysts wait for weeks until they receive an answer from their data protection experts on pressing questions
- Legal and compliance staff struggle to understand, interpret and keep track of the changing country-specific data protection restrictions
- Project timelines cannot be met because of unforeseen impact of data protection restrictions
The challenge of data protection restrictions
Data protection regulations vary from country to country. Some restrict the handling of specific types of data, such as data about employees or children. Others are using similar concepts but define the types of sensitive personal data differently. Some countries restrict the conducting of specific activities with personal data, while others allow them only upon a notification to the regulator. On top of it all, additional requirements can apply for certain types of institutions such as banks.
Understanding these country-specific elements is just one side of the story: additional complexity comes with different processes and agreements being used, especially in global organizations when dealing with data about clients, employees or other data subjects. To give a clear answer to a data protection request, it’s key to identify whether and to what extent a data subject provided consent to a data processing activity.
This regulatory complexity creates procedural bottlenecks and leaves financial institutions with few options to remain compliant:
|Efficiency||Risk minimisation||Market scalability||Ease of maintenance|
|Option 1: process data only internally||+||+++||+||+++|
|Option 2: clarify restrictions case by case||+++||++||+||+|
|Option 3: introduce dynamic data processing checks||++++||++++||++++||++++|
Introducing dynamic data processing checks
Maintaining complex data protection requirements manually was already a cumbersome task in the past, and it is certainly not the way to go in the age of digitally enabled finance. Project teams expect fast and precise legal answers on whether they can collaborate with an outsourcing partner abroad or use a specific cloud storage provider.
To circumvent blockers, banks and financial institutions have to switch from a manual to a digital mindset. The starting point for every digital data processing check is having the regulatory requirements available in a binary and machine-readable format. These are the so-called digital rules and are obtained from partners with verified legal expertise, who keep them up-to-date and thus make sure to minimise your risk of non-compliance.
Maintained in a digital repository, these rules must be easily customizable to the requirements of a specific financial institution, quickly accessible by project teams, e.g. via intranet and available to integrate into existing tools and processes.
To digitally speed up your data protection framework, you will need the following three building blocks:
- The right set of data protection rules: a repository of country-specific and highly detailed machine-readable rules customizable to an organization
- Dynamic data protection app: access to an easy-to-use interface app providing fast and fully compliant answers to the most complex data processing situations
- Easy integration options: technology empowering your developers to integrate and make use of machine-readable rules in-house
Benefits when using dynamic data processing checks
- Support business and IT stakeholders with instant turnaround times on complex data processing requests
- Compare different data processing contexts and pro-actively propose alternatives with less regulatory restrictions with a click of a button
- Always compliant with the right set of digitalised data processing requirements
- Scalability thanks to easy addition of new countries