Financial audits are a normal part of any organization’s plans, and rightfully so. But there are plenty of other categories that deserve equal attention. For any business that processes personal data from their customers—in other words, every business—one of these categories is customer data privacy. When was the last time your organization conducted a privacy audit?
Certain circumstances require a privacy audit:
Additionally, privacy audits should be a normal part of your organization’s practices. Review your approach to privacy at least once every few months to ensure ongoing compliance.
Your privacy audit should start with asking a few simple questions:
The answers to these questions will pinpoint where to start your audit.
Maybe your privacy management team could benefit by leveraging communication best practices developed and improved by other departments. The goal of your audit is to identify weak spots for areas to improve and strong areas to leverage. You can then incorporate both in your plans to improve.
During your privacy audit, watch out for and note any potential weak spots such as the following:
By this point, you should have a list of potential privacy issues your audit has identified. Discuss the list with your privacy and legal teams and determine what changes need to be made to stay in compliance with privacy laws. Using our examples from Phase 2, your list may look something like this:
It may also help to create a list of significant privacy errors that absolutely must be avoided. These errors might include:
As shown by sources such as this GDPR violation tracker, privacy errors are not to be taken lightly. Learn from the mistakes of other companies to improve your own approach to data privacy.
Customer data management and privacy are absolutely critical for today’s businesses. But to stay compliant with the law and maintain a good reputation with your clientele, periodic privacy audits are absolutely critical. You can and should be constantly improving your strategy.