There has been a rise in concern about privacy in recent years.
This explains why countries established regulations such as the GDPR and CCPA in tandem to safeguard consumers against malicious attacks and manipulation for commercial interests.
The law also recognized the need to safeguard both users and employees and the sensitive data that companies might acquire about them.
In this regard, people are now given the right to send specific requests to companies; these are known as Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs). Requests mostly originate from customers rather than employees.
Users can use these requests to have companies deliver them all of the information they have saved, as well as request deletion.
Continue reading if you want to learn more. In this post, we’ll look over DSARs in-depth and how you may prepare your company for them.
What are DSARs?
Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs) are inquiries made by users to businesses about the personal information they have gathered and kept, as well as how it is being used.
Therefore, you must reply to DSARs submitted by users and employees your company has collected data from. You must expressly provide them with a copy of the information you have about them.
Check out this guide to DSAR for a comprehensive look at the topic.
The importance of DSAR
As you might guess, a DSAR is quite important to every person. Some of the most important reasons are given below.
Data collection awareness
The ability for people to become aware of all the information you or any other company they work for or have previously worked for or interacted with contributes significantly to the relevance of DSAR.
This is especially important in terms of transparency and awareness.
A right to have their data erased
People also have the right to ask for the erasure of any personal information on them that a company may have gathered.
Because of this, people can exercise the power of their rights.
A right to rectify their data
People also have the right to seek the erasure of their personal information, as well as the right to have all or a portion of it rectified by the company. They may just want to change their phone numbers or email addresses, for instance.
The importance of being DSAR compliant
DSARs are particularly significant since they allow users to exercise their rights. Nonetheless, compliance can provide a variety of advantages to the organization.
Listed below are a few benefits that businesses can gain from DSAR compliance.
Avoid financial and legal repercussions
Your company might face severe financial and legal repercussions if it does not adhere to GDPR and CCPA requirements, as well as the protocols for processing and responding to DSARs.
These consequences might jeopardize your company’s financial stability and, depending on its size and capital, lead to its collapse. This explains the importance of being DSAR compliant.
Keep up a professional image in front of stakeholders, clients, and staff.
Your company can look professional, trustworthy, and efficient by complying with DSARs in accordance with the law and responding to them effectively and in a timely way.
Sidepost CEO Phi dang says that employees and users, in general, will be more inclined to agree to the storage of their data and to transact with you. Furthermore, demonstrating that you respect your users and employees’ rights will enhance employee retention.
This will also enhance your company’s general reputation, which will attract investors and other companies interested in collaborating with you.
What you should include in any of your DSAR responses
When users send you a DSAR, your answer should contain all the information you have on file for them. They may, however, need you to provide them with specified information only.
Generally, DASRs must provide the following information:
- Your confirmation that their personal information has been collected
- Personal information about them
- The legal basis for processing their data
- For how long you will retain their information
- Information about how the data was gathered
- Any third parties with whom you have shared their information
How to monitor and respond to DSARs
Even though you now understand what should be in a response to a DSAR, you probably don’t know how to handle all the requests you get.
The steps needed to process and complete a DSAR are:
1. Authenticate, register, and log DSARs
Companies must comply with DSARs by registering them, logging them into an appropriate system, and authenticating users, regardless of whether they use manual or automated processes.
2. Collect personal information
The first step in preparing for DSARs is to identify and categorize the personal data that your company stores and processes. It’s critical to gather this data securely to prevent further data sprawl, which might raise liability.
3. Approve and review the data
As soon as you have gathered the required data, you or your team must check it for compliance with DSAR and make sure that no proprietary information or individual’s personal information will be disclosed.
4. Deliver the user information securely
Within 45 days, you must send the users a final response securely. When a data breach happens, the cost per exposed record might be as high as $750.
5. Keep a record of reviews and decisions made
Keep a record of all conversations with the requester and other parties, as well as the sources from which the information was acquired, the review that was done, the important judgments regarding whether the information qualified as personal data, and if any exemptions applied. If the person asks for an internal review of the response or submits a complaint to the ICO, this will be needed.
How to ensure your company complies with DSARs
If your organization wishes to comply with DASRs, it can take the necessary procedures to prepare and process them.
The following are some of the most important actions and strategies for achieving this goal.
Organize all the data you collect about users neatly
In order to give employees and users access to their personal information, you must be able to identify them after they submit a DSAR.
As a result, you will have to store a large amount of information and maintain a database where you can search for users and retrieve their data.
Train your staff
If you own a medium or big company, your staff will almost certainly be involved in handling DSARs. When a request arrives, they may know what to do and how to manage it.
For this reason, you may need to teach your personnel to guarantee that all procedures and measures are taken.
To begin, ensure that they are aware of the privacy and data gathering requirements. Then, teach them how to handle DSARs.
You may do this by providing access to online courses and papers or by scheduling frequent online or in-person meetings.
Having a staff that is prepared and knowledgeable about DSARs can assist your organization in avoiding breaches and incurring severe financial and legal implications.
Businesses that lack regulation, law-related knowledge, and unschooled abilities may breach the law and face repercussions. It can also happen in situations when there is a question regarding whether the action made is correct or not.
If this is the situation in your organization, it may be necessary to engage professionals or consultants to guarantee that everything runs properly. As a result, employers and workers may seek guidance as needed, guaranteeing compliance with rules and activities.
Keep up to date on regulatory changes
As technology evolves and more people use the internet, governments throughout the world may fine-tune their legislation, adding rights or prohibiting specific processes.
To remain compliant with such requirements, you and your team must stay up to date on changes and news in order to take the essential actions on time.
Conduct regular internal audits
An internal audit can help identify ineffective and insufficient practices that result in noncompliance. Audits may focus on a company’s financial, operational, technical, or regulatory issues.
When it comes to guaranteeing compliance, having an independent auditor is a wise decision.
The need to secure users’ data is becoming increasingly important.
In order to safeguard personal data, new legislation is being implemented, and rights are being granted to individuals.
As demonstrated throughout this blog article, DSARs are one of the most important rights granted to users.
Compliance with DSARs may provide several benefits to your company, including improved reputation, staff retention, and an appearance of professionalism in the eyes of users.
As a result, following all the actions outlined in this blog article to comply with DSARs will allow you to reap all of these and more benefits right away.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. Hopefully, you found it informative and helpful.
If you want to read more, please check out this article on 6 effective employee management approaches.
What are your thoughts about DSARs? Let us know by commenting below!
Flavia Silipo is a skilled SEO copywriter and digital marketing specialist with over two years of experience. You can find her on LinkedIn.