The power of data protection policies and procedures

Policies have a reputation for being dull, long documents, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Putting in place tailored, practical data protection policies and procedures can really benefit your business in a number of ways.

Having policies, procedures and templates in place can reduce time spent on data protection compliance activities. If you do not have to start from scratch every time you approach an issue, you will save time and costs in the long run. For example, if you have a clear DPIA policy and procedure, your staff will be able to work through this and, over time, as they become familiar with the process, they will be able to complete DPIAs more efficiently, with less support.

Having policies and procedures in place can also free up management time in responding to questions about what to do when faced with data protection issues. Staff will come to learn that the policies in place can answer many of the questions they have.

Setting out security and data protection handling standards may help to prevent data breaches. For example, a policy which sets out the approach to access permissions will reduce the risk of unauthorised access to personal data and a data breach policy can help ensure any potential data breaches are swiftly identified, dealt with, and reported if necessary.

Policies and procedures also form part of demonstrating compliance with data protection law, which can help you comply with the accountability principle under GDPR. Having clear, comprehensive, well understood policies in place will demonstrate to a regulator that your organisation prioritises data protection.

Having good policies and procedures in place has the potential to boost your public image. For example, having a good data subject rights policy and procedure in place will help you to deal with data subject rights requests in an efficient, timely manner and can help you to provide reasoned justifications if you need to refuse a request.

Of course, simply having documented policies and procedures in place is not a silver bullet. You will need to make sure your staff are trained on the policies and that they remain familiar with them so that you make the most of your policies and procedures.

If you feel inspired to create or improve your data protection policies, we can help. Simply get in touch here.



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