If your staff understand what data protection compliance is all about, they will care about data protection compliance.  If they care, they will do their bit to protect personal data.  And if all your staff are protecting personal data, your organisation is more likely to be successful.  This is what we call a culture of continuous compliance.

Why data protection compliance is really important to the success of your organisation

  1. An organisation that puts the privacy of individuals at the heart of its business is trusted by its customers. That is why customers trust Apple more than Facebook.  Tim Cook of Apple openly embraced privacy and committed to it early.  Mark Zuckerberg wriggled, procrastinated, got hauled before committees (if he turned up at all), then realised the error of his ways and decided to say that he is changing his whole company strategy to embrace privacy.  All at tremendous cost to the business, and, quite possibly, too late.

  2. Good compliance allows organisations to maximise the value of the data they process.  If organisations are clear about what they can and can’t do with their data and use of that data is correct from the start, then that increases the power of the data, it doesn’t reduce it.  That makes the data more valuable to your organisation.

  3. GDPR compliance is about protecting personal data and giving individuals rights in relation to their personal data.  If you don’t protect personal data properly then breaches are more likely to occur. If a breach occurs you may have to notify the regulator.  And if you notify the regulator, you are likely to be facing a whole lot of pain.

How you make your staff really understand the importance of data protection

  1. You make them know that you care about data protection.  You make them understand that an essential part of their job is to protect personal information.  You make it clear that data protection is not just the responsibility of one person, or one team, but the responsibility of everyone in the organisation.

  2. You train them.  And you keep training them.  You make sure that everyone in your organisation is trained on data protection as part of their onboarding process.  You carry out refresher training. You make sure that specific teams get specific training eg. you ensure that your IT team are aware of the state of the art in data security practices.  You drip feed practical hints and tips on how to keep personal information safe. You don’t just write policies – you tell people what those policies say and make sure they understand and care about them.

  3. You empower all your staff.  People often think that data protection compliance is someone else’s job.  Make it everyone’s job and you reduce the risk of data breach.

How you really create a culture of continuous compliance in your organisation

Lead from the front.  Put in place a structured, comprehensive, GDPR compliance programme.  Don’t treat compliance as a one off project and instead treat it as an ongoing process which contributes to the success of your organisation.

Feel free to take a look at how The Privacy Compliance Hub helps business leaders like you create a culture of continuous compliance in their successful organisations.  It keeps things simple and enables you to own your compliance.

This article is part of an eight part series.  Feel free to check out the others:

GDPR : Are you sure you’re fine?

  1. Are you sure your staff know why the GDPR is important to the success of your organisation?
  2. Are you sure you know what you do with people’s data?
  3. Are you sure you tell people what you do with their data?
  4. Are you sure you trust organisations that you are sharing data with?
  5. Are you sure that nobody will complain?
  6. Are you sure you’re secure?
  7. Are you sure you know which countries keep data safe?
  8. Are you sure you build products and services with privacy in mind?