Building a Robust Data Subject Request (DSR) Workflow

Gal Golan
Gal Golan
Aug 30, 2023
min read
Building a Robust Data Subject Request (DSR) Workflow

In the rapidly evolving landscape of data privacy, one constant has remained: ensuring individuals have control over their personal data. The main instrument to do this, Data Subject Requests (DSRs), have become a critical component of modern data protection frameworks and data protection software. 

Despite their prominence and importance, many companies still struggle to find user data efficiently and fulfill DSRs when individuals contact them exercising their data rights. For companies that receive more than a few DSRs a month, the costs of handling them start to add up.

Building a well-structured DSR workflow not only cuts down on these costs and  time inefficiencies, but keeps your organization compliant with regulations like GDPR and CCPA and showcases a commitment to data privacy. By making it easy and straightforward for individuals to access, rectify, or even erase their personal data, you enhance your brand's reputation as a responsible data steward in an era where news of a data breach or data privacy violation can forever follow a brand.

Building Blocks of a Robust DSR Workflow

a. User-Friendly Submission Process: The first step to a successful DSR workflow is an intuitive and user-friendly submission process, since the first step of handling a DSR sets the tone for the entire process. Empowers data subjects to easily submit their requests by giving them a variety of paths to do so, such as through an online portal, email, or other convenient methods.

b. Identify Systems: Not all systems contain relevant data for DSRs, so working with IT to identify which systems do makes it easy to include and skip systems in a DSR workflow. This precision ensures that your efforts are focused on relevant data sources, saving time and resources.

c. Map Identifiers and Data Sources: Mapping identifiers and data sources is vital to ensuring a comprehensive data retrieval process. This involves identifying where personal data is stored and determining the sources for each identifier, streamlining the data gathering process.

d. Upstream & Downstream Systems: Work with IT to establish the complete order of steps in the DSR process, from data retrieval in upstream systems to secure data delivery downstream. This will create a smooth process for data subjects and your organization, as there is less likelihood of unforeseen problems arising once the process is planned.

e. Auditing and Redaction: A properly protected workflow like MineOS keeps data for auditing purposes while redacting unnecessary information. Collaborating with privacy and compliance experts, MineOS enables search capabilities for auditing purposes while safeguarding sensitive data that isn't required to fulfill the DSR.

f. Verification and Customer Notifications: Collaboration between privacy and customer engagement teams ensures a robust verification process. Part of this is validating data subjects' identities to prevent unauthorized access. While traditionally this step can take some time, MineOS’s solution automates customer notifications at various stages of the workflow to provide transparency and efficiency. 

g. More Advanced Flows: As things like bulk DSRs become more common, organizations need ways to structure advanced flows in addition to standard DSR flows. Collaborating with legal teams, MineOS enables on-behalf requests and caters to business partners' needs so advanced flows can run smoothly too.

h. Gather Requests and Present Rights: Designing a system that allows users to easily gather their requests and see their available rights, whether through a custom integration or otherwise, establishes a baseline with individuals that you take their data rights seriously. This is an overarching step that works to make the entire DSR handling process matter.

Advantages of a Streamlined DSR Workflow

When handled with care and attention, a robust DSR workflow will save organizations time and money, with those savings scaled in relation to the number of DSRs an organization receives. That is far from the only advantage of investing in DSR technology like MineOS’s:

  • Compliance Simplified: A robust DSR workflow ensures compliance with data privacy regulations. With the automated processes and audit trails in MineOS, you have a clear record of each step, making compliance assessments smoother than ever.
  • Enhanced Operational Efficiency: Manual DSR handling is resource-intensive. By automating key steps, the MineOS workflow reduces the burden on your team, allowing them to focus on more strategic tasks.
  • Trust-Building: Transparent and efficient DSR handling demonstrates your commitment to data privacy and empowers individuals. This trust-building process strengthens your brand's reputation.
  • Minimized Risk: A streamlined DSR workflow reduces the risk of errors and data breaches, ensuring that sensitive information is handled compliantly and securely.

Our Solution: Your Partner in DSR Excellence

At MineOS, we understand the intricate nature of data privacy and the importance of seamless DSR and privacy request management. Our solution offers a powerful DSR workflow that can be tailored to any organization's needs. From request submission to data retrieval and secure delivery, we streamline the entire process, leaving no room for compromise.

Supported by advanced data discovery and classification, your organization will discover over 90% of data systems, allowing you to pick and choose the right ones to automate and integrate for DSR handling to truly transform your privacy program.