The landscape of data privacy has changed vastly in recent years. Data regulation is an urgent and confusing topic, as territorial borders and jurisdictions become unclear in the cloud. Various countries’ government strategies and practices regarding data confidentiality, data ownership, and data seizure are fractured and often incongruent. The U.S. Safe Harbor Agreement and the EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) create challenges in and of themselves, but even adherence to those standards may no longer be sufficient for managing privacy-related risks.
Companies with a multi-national footprint need cross-country information exchange, without risking fines or jeopardizing their reputations. At the same time, they need strategies to stay ahead of the curve and prepare for impending changes in market and regulatory demands for privacy. Ultimately, in this new environment, the companies that mitigate their data privacy risk through well-established and proactive processes, tools, and technology will be the ones that succeed and thrive, and this requires a new focus from the Office of the General Counsel in particular. The risk if this foundation isn’t in place includes billions of dollars of litigation cost, corporate fines, and reputation damage.
Enterprise Legal Management (ELM) software can help the general counsel of a global business manage its evolving obligations and response to far-reaching EU regulations. A comprehensive ELM solution provides a single flexible repository for organizing the many laws and directives. With the use of Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC)-enabled ELM software, businesses can equip themselves to not only understand the applicable regulations, and where in their organizations each applies, but also to help them proactively manage compliance with those regulations. An integrated solution – consisting of regulatory intelligence and regulatory change management, incident and investigation tracking, legal matter management, and policy management – provides the necessary toolkit to help understand, and thus minimizes, the regulatory and legal risks associated with this increasingly stringent and ever-changing world of data privacy. Thus equipped, businesses can properly understand the evolving framework surrounding data ownership and custodianship, and legal departments can efficiently guide the implementation of appropriate policies, procedures, and technological solutions to address global data privacy challenges.