Webinar Recap – 2020 Global Privacy Survey: Emerging Trends, Benchmarking Research and Best Practices

As part of the Privacy Insight Series, TrustArc presented the webinar “2020 Global Privacy Survey: Emerging Trends, Benchmarking Research and Best Practices” earlier this week with speakers Gary Edwards, Co-Founder and President of Golfdale Consulting, and Paul Breitbarth, Director, EU Policy and Strategy at TrustArc. This blog post will give a brief summary of that webinar addressing the recent global privacy survey and its subsequent findings; you can listen to the entire webinar and download the slides here.

In May 2020, TrustArc conducted a comprehensive Global Privacy Benchmarks Survey of more than 1,500 senior executives, privacy office leaders, privacy team members, management, and full-time employees outside the privacy function. This week’s webinar focused on the various findings from the survey which covered topics, such as privacy initiatives, CCPA readiness, COVID-19 impact and privacy budgets. Gary pointed out that,  “this global survey provided great coverage, hearing from many different voices across the world, which provided a strong top to bottom view of emerging trends in the privacy space during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Looking at organizations’ top initiatives and the changes afoot in 2020, the results were consistent and clear. Adapting to new regulations, adjusting privacy and data protection policies, and training staff on how to get this work done are top priorities. While Paul was happy to see companies were prioritizing these undertakings, he was disappointed to see that only 55% of survey respondents chose “rights requests” as a top initiative, considering data subject rights are commonly required under many regulations.  

In terms of preparing for the CCPA, only 14% of respondents reported being done. Paul noted that even though the July 1st enforcement date is on the horizon, many companies consider the CCPA a “moving target” as the CCPA regulations have not been fully finalized yet. Gary commented many respondents view the CCPA challenges as moderately difficult which may be a result of companies being in the early stages of CCPA compliance. If you haven’t started CCPA compliance, you’re more likely to find challenges (such as managing third-party risks and maintaining an incident response program) more difficult than if you’ve started or are in the late stages of CCPA compliance. 

Gary and Paul provided the webinar attendees with some advice on companies that are behind: Work on the most visible things first, such as your privacy notice, the “do not sell” button, and the mandatory hotline. They went on to review the impact of COVID-19 on privacy and data protection and discussed new digital technologies. Watch the full webinar to learn more about the comprehensive survey’s findings. Download the 2020 Global Privacy Report here.


Webinar Recap: COVID-19 – What are the Potential Impacts on Data Privacy?

As part of the TrustArc Privacy Insight Series, TrustArc SVP, Privacy Intelligence and General Counsel, Hilary Wandall joined by Morrison & Foerster LLP Partner, Privacy and Data Security Christine Lyon, and Crosley Law Offices, LLC Co-Director, CLEAR Principal Stanley Crosley presented the webinar “COVID-19 – What are the Potential Impacts on Data Privacy?” this week. This blog post will give a brief summary of that webinar; you can listen to the entire webinar and download the slides here.

In these unprecedented times, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted lives, changing the way we work and communicate with one another. The panelists discussed: 

  • The potential impact to data privacy during this pandemic. Regulators have had to respond quickly to privacy issues pertaining to COVID-19 such as considering the legal basis for processing sensitive personal data relating to COVID-19, appropriate data sharing, data security considerations, and other challenges. 
  • Regulatory measures for protecting employees, students, customers and patients. Regulations that offer guidance to employers on how they are to handle employee health information are the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), EEOC “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace”, and Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). For educational institutions, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides guidance to educators on how to respond appropriately to COVID-19 and sharing of information to public health departments. For protecting customers and patients, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and CARES Act offer guidance on data security. Links to these resources are available in the webinar slides.
  • The need to contain this virus which could involve tracking the virus using surveillance tools, which undoubtedly impacts privacy. Location data can be collected to monitor physical distancing and digital contact tracing. It is important for organizations to balance the value of this data to the organization and how this data benefits society as a whole, as well as, mitigating risks. 

Stay informed of COVID-19 updates and how it relates to data privacy with special resources and guidance provided through Research & Alerts – a solution designed to provide complete and instant insight into privacy compliance with global regulatory updates. Contact TrustArc today to see if you qualify for free access to Research & Alerts.

Join us for the next webinar in the Privacy Insight Series: “Privacy Frameworks: The Foundation for Every Privacy Program” with TrustArc Director, EU Policy and Strategy, Paul Breitbarth, Director, Privacy Intelligence Development, Joanne Furtsch, and Director of Research, Meaghan McCluskey on April 15th, 2020 at 9:00am PT. Register for the webinar here.

Webinar Recap – US Quarterly Privacy Update: Consumer Privacy Law

As part of the TrustArc Privacy Insight Series, TrustArc Associate General Counsel – Privacy Intelligence K Royal, and TrustArc Privacy Legal Specialist Christina Fratschko presented the webinar “US Quarterly Privacy Update: Consumer Privacy Law” last week. This blog post will give a brief summary of that webinar; you can listen to the entire webinar and download the slides here.

In this quarterly session, the panelists provided:

An overview on updates to Consumer Privacy Law for each of the states, and mentioned which legislatures have killed their bills due to substantive issues or slating them for further study. Also discussed were commonalities between bills among states with regards to rights to access, correct and delete personal information, and right to opt-out of sale of personal information.

A review of three federal bills proposing consumer rights: 1) United States House of Representative Draft Law Discussion Bill – new safeguards around how companies can collect and use identifiable consumer data, 2) Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act (“COPRA”) – entities subject to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission jurisdiction must comply with individual rights, and 3) Consumer Data and Security Act – establishing a clear federal standard for data privacy protection, giving businesses a uniform standard rather than a patchwork of confusing state laws.

What employers and educational institutions need to know during this growing pandemic of the novel coronavirus around the world. The panelists recapped several guidances issued by regulatory authorities. The Office for Civil Rights, which enforces the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”)  published an advisory regarding Telehealth in which healthcare providers can communicate to patients and provide Telehealth services through communication technologies. The U.S. Department of Education issued guidance on how and when educational institutions may share student personal information if a student has COVID-19. In addition, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published some guidance on how employers can handle information of a COVID-19 case among their employees and protect their employees from COVID-19.

Watch this on-demand webinar to stay up-to-date on consumer privacy laws in the US. TrustArc also has a robust library of on-demand webinars available here

Join us for the next webinar in the Privacy Insight Series: “COVID-19 – What are the Potential Impacts on Data Privacy?” with TrustArc SVP, Privacy Intelligence and General Counsel, Hilary Wandall on 4/8 at 9am PT. Register for the webinar here.

The TrustArc Privacy Insight Series is a set of live webinars featuring renowned speakers, presenting cutting edge research, tips, and tools. Events are free and feature informative discussions, case studies and practical solutions to today’s tough privacy challenges.

Webinar Recap – CCPA: Countdown to Enforcement

As part of the TrustArc Privacy Insight Series, TrustArc Senior Privacy Consultant Beth Sipula, TrustArc Privacy Counsel Edward Hu, and TrustArc Director Privacy Intelligence Development Joanne Furtsch presented the webinar “CCPA: Countdown to Enforcement” last week. This blog post will give a brief summary of that webinar; you can listen to the entire webinar and download the slides here.

The CCPA is set to be the toughest privacy law in the United States. It broadly expands the rights of consumers and requires companies within scope to be significantly more transparent about how they collect, use, and disclose personal information. The CCPA is effective January 1, 2020, and enforcement is slated to begin no later than July 1, 2020.

During this webinar, the panelists discussed the current hot topics surrounding the CCPA, such as: notice, service providers, browser controls, identity verification, and the right to deletion. Regarding the right to deletion, Beth went into detail on the proposed regulations’ two step process: the first step allows the individual to submit the request for deletion; and the second step separately confirms the personal information will be deleted. Furthermore, Beth explained that when denying requests, businesses must provide the consumer with a notice stating the reasons for denial, including any applicable exceptions, delete any information not subject to exception, and not use the retained personal information for any purpose not provided for by a relevant exception. 

The panel went on to discuss the recent CCPA public hearings, as Joanne attended the Sacramento hearing and Edward attended the San Francisco hearing. They touched on the variety of speakers during both hearings, which showed the wide range of use cases that the speakers brought forth, and the sizable impact of the CCPA. There were many similarities in both hearings, such as requests for model notices from the AG’s office in order to help streamline notice compliance requirements. 

With the January 1, 2020 effective date quickly approaching, Edward provided several action items for companies, such as: 

  • Inventorying your data
  • Putting a consumer request process in place
  • Reviewing vendor contracts to determine who is a service provider
  • Updating privacy notices
  • Making a determination about whether using third-party ad tech cookies constitutes a “sale”

To learn more about the CCPA, view the on-demand Privacy Insight Series webinar here.  TrustArc has a robust library of on-demand webinars available here. You can learn more about the CCPA look back requirement, automating privacy managing, GDPR compliance, and many other hot topics.

The TrustArc Privacy Insight Series is a set of live webinars featuring renowned speakers, presenting cutting edge research, tips, and tools. Events are free and feature informative discussions, case studies and practical solutions to today’s tough privacy challenges.

Automated DSR Fulfillment to Avoid Denial of Service Attacks

In the wake of GDPR, law firm Squire Patton Boggs reported a “sharp increase” in the number of UK residents who initiated data subject access requests (DSARs), fulfilling the same number of DSARs in the first five months of 2019 as they’d handled during the entire year of 2018.

CCPA data subject requests (DSRs) are likely to have the same effect on California-based organizations, and with a 45-day deadline for fulfillment, companies that don’t implement automated self-service workflows are at an increased risk for Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.

DoS attacks happen when legitimate users are unable to access information systems, devices, or other network resources due to cyber criminal activity that floods a host or network with traffic until it cannot respond or simply crashes, preventing access to email, online accounts, websites, etc.

These attacks disrupt a company’s online presence by keeping its web servers so busy with network requests that they’re unable to load web pages or Internet resources, costing organizations both time and money while their resources and services are inaccessible.

A DoS attack can happen when a company is inundated with DSRs. It overwhelms the CSR and IT staff, who are forced to respond to requests manually and eventually reach a breaking point in which the company can’t safely respond to requests within the required timeline.

With CCPA right around the corner, there’s no time like the present to start thinking about your company’s plans to circumvent DoS attacks and streamline DSR processes, which, according to the new regulations, must now include identity verification prior to fulfilling each request.

Technology can help teams automate manual processes, which helps save time and promote consistency, but it’s important for businesses to be aware of potential DSR threats like DoS attacks that can jeopardize fulfillment and result in both frustration and noncompliance.

Lessons Learned from GDPR

Many companies started preparing for GDPR by hiring lawyers and consultants to conduct privacy impact assessments (PIAs), data mapping, understanding workflows, manually surveying data sets, and introducing internal guidelines.

These steps were certainly helpful and necessary, but because the work had to be applied to multiple sets of data repositories, companies found they were duplicating efforts over and over.

Operationalizing CCPA with automation requires companies to leverage existing IT security tools and other systems (e.g., SIEM, ticketing, data governance), which is why it’s critical to get buy-in from CTOs, CISOs, CPOs, and data governance teams from the very beginning in order to execute processes correctly the first time.

Taking the time to prepare and automate DSR fulfillment processes can help mitigate the onslaught of DSRs, which result in DoS attacks.

Coordinated Data Subject Requests

Through the use of social media, online networking platforms, and other less obvious sources, many data subjects can quickly and easily coordinate to submit DSRs on behalf of people who may or may not exist, all at the same time.

The most recent example of this was executed under GDPR law, when Blizzard Entertainment stripped the World of Warcraft Tournament Champion of his title after publicly claiming support for Hong Kong protesters, which triggered the gaming community.

Multiple gaming sites, and even Reddit posts like this, instructed angry gamers who were upset with Blizzard how to exercise their rights under GDPR Article 15. The weaponization of DSRs quickly caught on, and led to an influx of requests that was very difficult for Blizzard to manage.

Even for large organizations with robust processes and automated systems for managing DSRs, such a large number of coordinated requests are likely to have a lasting impact, as they tend to cause excessive and manual workload by clogging automated systems with complicated requests.

Not limited to large corporations, the coordinated DSR attacks will actually do more harm to smaller businesses that don’t have the resources to deal with the tidal wave of requests, but it’s important to note that even moderate levels of DSR traffic can overwhelm organizations if they’re not properly prepared.

DSR Automation Recommendations

The first step is to build an effective intake form for DSRs that are visible, have predefined requests that the data subject can select from, and can be automated to fulfill requests quickly. Automation tools also exist that can help businesses centralize requests in a single dashboard, automate notifications, track deadlines, and establish processes for individuals who are involved in each step of the workflow.

The second step is to ensure that identity verification techniques, congruent with the sensitivity of the data being requested, are prominently integrated at the very beginning of the DSR process. This action alone can weed out bad actors and bots attempting to flood business systems with requests. The more sensitive the data being requested (think: banking, insurance, healthcare, etc.), the higher the verification assurance should be for those submitting requests.

When it comes to preventing DoS attacks, manual DSR processes that require personnel to scan hundreds of systems for every request will simply not cut it. It’s a big data problem, especially when you consider that, in the DSR fulfillment process, duplicate data sets are the primary culprits for exposure of sensitive data to unnecessary parties. As such, additional recommendations to automate DSR fulfillment include:

  • Avoid creating additional copies of customer data
  • Reduce PI surface area 
  • De-identify but beware of toxic combinations
  • Comply with privacy and security-by-design principles
  • Prepare for a data subject request DoS attack

Want to learn more about how an automated DSR fulfillment process can help your company avoid DoS attacks? Click here to register for our webinar.

How [Integris/TrustArc/Evident] Helps

How Evident Helps

Evident’s Verified Data Request (VDR) DSR identity verification tool is helping businesses vet each request, distinguishing bad actors and bots from genuine individuals who want to access, delete, or opt out their personal data.

With connections to more than 6,500 authoritative data sources through a single API, Evident’s VDR is simplifying the identity verification portion of the DSR request workflow, enabling companies to corroborate a requester’s data points quickly, securely, and accurately, without ever returning “data subject not found” results.

In addition to supporting identity verification for DSR workflows, VDR also helps businesses demonstrate general privacy compliance through Evident’s asymmetric, end-to-end encryption, designed to protect each individual piece of personal data collected for verification purposes.


The TrustArc Individual Rights Manager solution is designed to help companies comply with regulations, minimize risk and build trust with customers. The solution enables individuals to easily submit DSARs and companies to efficiently manage, review, and follow-up in required timelines. In addition, the solution creates an audit trail that demonstrates accountability and compliance. 

TrustArc is the leader in privacy compliance and data protection solutions and offers an unmatched combination of innovative technology and TRUSTe certification solutions. TrustArc addresses all phases of privacy program management and has been delivering innovative privacy solutions for two-decades to some of the world’s largest companies. The TrustArc platform leverages deep privacy expertise and proven methodologies, which have been continuously enhanced through thousands of customer engagements. Headquartered in San Francisco, and backed by a global team across the Americas, Europe, and Asia, TrustArc helps customers worldwide demonstrate compliance, minimize risk and build trust.

How Integris Software Helps

Integris Software tackles one of the most challenging aspects of data subject requests (DSRs)– finding data subjects across your data ecosystem. Our discovery process isolates your systems that contain PI, then maps attributes, categories, purpose, and sources back to each data subject. By automating the discovery and classification of sensitive data, Integris reduces the burden on IT teams and data source owners. Deep Search and just-in-time identity matching make it easy for your customer service reps (CSRs) to verify and locate data subjects across thousands of systems. Integris DSR is enterprise ready and follows the principles of privacy- and security-by-design; there’s no need to replicate consumer data across network zones.

Privacy is now critical to an effective data protection strategy. By sitting upstream from security, Integris tells you what data is important and why so you can be precise in your InfoSec controls. Integris works securely, at scale, no matter where sensitive data resides. You get a live map of your sensitive data where you can apply policies, surface issues, fulfill DSAR requests, and automate remediations via your broader ticketing and InfoSec ecosystem. Regulations like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) are triggering knee-jerk reactions as companies lock down their data for fear of misuse. With Integris, there is finally a way to use your data without fear.