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Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Vendor Data Privacy Risk Assessment

Before any organization can do business with an external vendor, it needs to examine its data privacy protocol against new legal requirements. Recent legislations like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the U.S. has cast a spotlight on the handling of consumer data, especially the way it is shared among third parties. Organizations of all sizes in every industry are upgrading the vetting processes to make sure that new vendors don’t bring additional risks.

These risk assessment processes contain several moving parts, and a mistake at any point along the way can jeopardize the result. The easiest way to pinpoint the holes in your organization's vendor vetting workflow is to review the entire process from beginning to end and examine the opportunities for data privacy lapses. Here are four common pitfalls to look for:

1. Overlooking Contract-level Details

Amid all the changes happening to the regulatory landscape, it’s easy to overlook errors in the language of your contracts. In a short window of time, contract language—on old and new agreements—needs to be updated to provide consumers with new legal protections and redefine business-to-business relationships with any party that touches consumer data. If contracts are being negotiated in that window, some terms might slip through the cracks and expose you to new risks.

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8 Steps to Manage Vendor Data Privacy Compliance

Eight vital steps organizations can take to ensure that vendors aren’t jeopardizing data privacy compliance.

Around the world, new regulations about the collection and usage of personal data are changing workflows for major organizations. Following the passage of legislation like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), businesses are auditing privacy practices and creating much stricter guidelines when they select partners and vendors.

With tighter regulations about the way consumer data is collected and used, organizations have to increase scrutiny for every party that has access to personal data. The entire system is only as secure as the weakest part, so it’s more important than ever to vet external parties and maintain visibility into their data practices. Here are eight vital steps organizations can take to ensure that vendors aren’t jeopardizing data privacy compliance.

Step 1: Audit Your Existing Data Privacy System

Before you do anything else, examine what’s currently in place to understand the changes that need to be made to maintain compliance with new regulations. You want to avoid reinventing the wheel and make adjustments without slowing down the business or adding risks.

After that self-examination, conduct the same check on your network of vendors. It’s imperative that you have a 360-degree understanding of vendors’ business practices and overall reliability before entering or continuing business relationships.

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