Skip to Main Content
Main Menu

Elevating Data Privacy: TrustArc’s Accountability Approach with Nymity PMAF

TrustArc’s Nymity Privacy Management Accountability Framework™ Gets an Update

In a digital era where data privacy underpins brand trust, organizations aim to not only comply with privacy laws but to fully embody them. TrustArc’s Nymity Privacy Management Accountability Framework™ (PMAF), pioneered in 2012 and continuously evolving, now includes advanced provisions for AI data privacy governance.

As the first of its kind, the Nymity PMAF has been setting the standard in privacy management, constantly adapting and evolving to meet dynamic changes in the global privacy environment.

Reflecting its commitment to staying at the forefront of privacy management solutions, this addition of AI governance ensures the Nymity PMAF remains the most comprehensive framework compared to other popular frameworks such as NIST, ISO 27001/2, etc.

In the 2023 TrustArc Benchmarks Report, a comparison of 13 different frameworks, certifications, and compliance standards revealed it achieved the highest Privacy Index competence scores. This insight in the report highlights Nymity PMAF’s effectiveness, having been battle-tested across industries around the globe and found to demonstrate superior success scores over more widely known frameworks.

Reflecting its longstanding value and recent advancements, the Nymity PMAF has been a staple on TrustArc’s website. It is freely available and popularly used by many organizations from start-ups to multinationals across the globe.

Transform Privacy Management with the Nymity PMAF

The Nymity PMAF is more than a tool. It is a comprehensive taxonomy for privacy programs, transforming the landscape of privacy management. It enables organizations to assess maturity, understand risk, identify Privacy Management Categories (PMCs) for each maturity level, and then operationalize a privacy program.

Nymity PMAF’s comprehensive nature seamlessly incorporates elements from other privacy frameworks into its structure, making it an ideal choice for creating a flexible, framework-neutral privacy program.

With its roots firmly planted in the principle of accountability, it encourages organizations to foster an ongoing conversation about privacy. Grounded in global principles and guidelines, it provides a practical guide for implementing privacy programs by establishing scalable procedures and workflows that adapt to the broad array of international regulations.

AI Data Privacy Governance

A significant enhancement to the Nymity PMAF is its expanded focus on AI data privacy governance. This update introduces two new Privacy Management Activities (PMAs) designed to ensure AI systems are developed and utilized with privacy at their core. These additions emphasize the development of AI in a manner that is transparent, accountable, and devoid of discrimination.

By integrating privacy considerations directly into the AI Software Development Life Cycle and establishing comprehensive policies for algorithmic accountability, the PMAF empowers organizations to conduct detailed algorithmic and AI impact assessments. This forward-looking approach ensures that AI technologies align with stringent privacy standards, fostering trust and compliance in an increasingly AI-driven world.

At its core, the Nymity PMAF harmonizes with key privacy regulations such as the GDPR and CCPA, addressing the operational concerns of large clients who can be tempted to use other disparate operational tools. Some organizations use the Nymity Framework to show due diligence to regulators to demonstrate accountability. For example in the event of a data breach, it can be used to demonstrate that the event was an exception that occurred despite a robust program in place to prevent it, as opposed to a systemic issue.

Unique to the Nymity PMAF is its highly regarded taxonomy, a cornerstone for privacy programs. Within TrustArc’s PrivacyCentral, an organization can measure maturity and use the Nymity PMAF as a baseline and for benchmarking.

The 13 Privacy Management Categories of the Nymity PMAF

The Nymity PMAF’s 13 Privacy Management Categories (PMCs) span 130+ privacy activities and tasks – all of which are comprehensive and industry-neutral and work with any new or mature privacy program. The utility of this approach is evident in the meticulously outlined PMCs which break down privacy management’s complexity into actionable segments.

The 13 Accountability Mechanisms are as follows:

  1. Maintain Governance Structure
  2. Maintain Personal Data Inventory and Data Transfer Mechanisms
  3. Maintain Internal Data Privacy Policy
  4. Embed Data Privacy Into Operations
  5. Maintain Training and Awareness Program
  6. Manage Information Security Risk
  7. Manage Third-Party Risk
  8. Maintain Notices
  9. Respond to Requests and Complaints from Individuals
  10. Monitor for New Operational Practices
  11. Manage Data Privacy Breach Management Program
  12. Monitor Data Handling Practices
  13. Track External Criteria.

These categories enable companies to: a) incorporate a privacy-by-design approach into their product development and data lifecycles and, b) to take a risk-based approach in assessing their processing activities. These PMCs break down the complexity of privacy management into digestible, actionable segments. Such granularity reflects TrustArc’s deep understanding that effective privacy management is a tapestry of actions, each pivotal in crafting a robust and right-sized privacy program.

Regulations and the Nymity PMAF

The Framework is strategically designed to assist companies in identifying areas of “high risk,” which is particularly important in light of regulations like the GDPR. The GDPR is recognized as a risk-based regulation, emphasizing the need for organizations to focus on high risk data processing activities. Risk-based approaches carry over into new AI regulations that impact privacy.

One key aspect of determining high risk in the context of the GDPR, similar regulations, and new AI regulations, is the purpose for which personal data is processed. The Framework provides comprehensive guidance to help companies categorize and understand these high-risk processing activities, enabling them to take appropriate measures to manage and mitigate these risks effectively.

The Global Applicability of the Framework

TrustArc’s PrivacyCentral software stands as a vital component in the practical application of the PMAF. This innovative product enables clients to effectively map and measure their privacy practices against the Framework’s standards. Through its Attestation feature, organizations can conduct self-audits, assessing their readiness for privacy standards and the maturity of their privacy programs, while focusing limited resources on areas of need. Complementing this is TrustArc’s Nymity Research which provides access to Operational Templates to help understand and employ the Nymity PMAF.

The global applicability of the PMAF is one of its most defining features. The framework has been meticulously mapped to over 800 privacy laws, international privacy frameworks, guidelines, and regulations across the world. This extensive alignment with diverse legal requirements ensures that PMAF is a foundational tool for achieving compliance with multiple obligations simultaneously. Such comprehensive coverage ensures that organizations can confidently use the framework to navigate the complexities of international privacy laws, making their privacy management practices not just locally compliant but globally proficient.

Elevate Your Data Privacy Practices with the Nymity PMAF

TrustArc’s end-to-end privacy management platform stands out as a robust ecosystem that automates privacy management with operational effectiveness. The TrustArc approach ensures that privacy management is not an isolated function but a seamless part of the business workflow, offering reporting and benchmarking for strategic alignment.

In conclusion, TrustArc’s Nymity PMAF is much more than a framework; it is a comprehensive guide for privacy programs regardless of current maturity. It acts as a catalyst for change, steering organizations towards a future where data privacy is ingrained as a core business value. This framework not only bridges the gap between privacy policies and principles but also ensures their effective implementation.

Given its proven track record, comprehensive approach, and up-to-date AI features, the Nymity PMAF warrants consideration as a primary privacy management tool versus other options such as NIST or ISO frameworks.

As we navigate a digital era where data privacy is integral to brand trust, TrustArc’s Nymity PMAF emerges as an essential blueprint. It empowers businesses to elevate their data privacy practices, ensuring that privacy is not merely a compliance requirement but a fundamental aspect of organizational integrity and customer trust.


Manage your privacy program compliance and auditing with automation.

Schedule a demo

Any questions?

Feel free to reach out. We’d love to help.

Contact TrustArc

Get the latest resources sent to your inbox

Back to Top