To comply with the privacy laws, organizations need to know the personal data they hold, its location, where it goes, and how long they have been controlling data. They also need to understand how to dispose of such data when they no longer need it. Understanding data mapping is a good compliance practice. The introduction of general data protection regulation requires that every organization take data mapping seriously.

What is data mapping?

Data mapping is a process of tracking data to, from, and through the organization. Through a data map, an organization can give information regarding personal data under their control;

  •       Personal data source
  •       Purpose of the personal data
  •       Data collection method
  •       Data format that may be in Excel, CRM, or word document
  •       Storage options
  •       Procedures on the accessibility of the data

Elements of data mapping

Though data maps for different organizations will differ, all data maps share some common characteristics. Below are a few elements that every data map should have. That way, it will comply with the GDPR guidelines.

  1. Incorporates all data processing activities of the organization

 Professional data mapping experts recommend that organizations review all business activities, identify all instances of data entry point, and the purpose of collecting such personal data. That will ensure that your organization covers all personal data in their control to avoid breach of data regulations.

2.  Easy to understand

A data map should be simple to understand to all organization stakeholders and regulators. That way, they can identify personal data held in the organization and its use. Using infographics, diagrams, and charts make it easier for third parties to understand.

How data mapping enhances security

General data protection regulation is all about upholding the privacy of personal data. That also enhances cybersecurity for both the organization and the public at large. Through data mapping, an organization can comply with the GDPR guidelines.

  • Recording of data processing activities

A record of up-to-date personal data processing is a requirement by GDPR. Through data mapping, data visualization, identification, and flow monitoring are systematic.

  • Transparency and data subject’s rights protection

Organizations should explain their data collection aspects to the data subjects and make it clear upfront. That way, there is no violation of their privacy rights, and they also understand the implications of sharing their data with organizations.

  • Assessment of impact on data privacy

The introduction of new products or changes in data management systems may impact personal data privacy. Through data mapping, an organization can access how it alters data flow and identifies data privacy risks. That way, they can adopt new data protection mechanisms to ensure that they comply with privacy rules.

Organizations should uphold the principle of accountability of the personal data they hold. Having compliance-focused mapping and collaboration tools will make it easy for an organization to comply with data privacy rules. The focus should be on identifying the clients’ data rights and freedoms and taking appropriate measures to help manage and reduce the risk.