How to prepare your company's privacy strategy for the holidays

Gal Ringel
Gal Ringel
Dec 5, 2021
min read
How to prepare your company's privacy strategy for the holidays

Companies can expect a <hl>post-holidays' spike in Data Subject Requests (DSR)<hl> this year. Here’s how to prepare your business so you don't get overwhelmed.

The holiday season is a busy time for businesses. Everything seems to happen at once, especially online. This year, Deloitte predicts that 62% of holiday spending will occur on digital channels, and stores reopening worldwide will not slow down the eCommerce front. 

But this festive success comes with a price. We’re talking about the burning topic of data privacy. Online shopping involves opening accounts, signing up to mailing lists, leaving payment details, and more. This excessive access to data is on shoppers’ radar, as many businesses are about to find out. In 2021, companies everywhere are likely to experience post-holiday blues, as customers submit Data Subject Requests (DSR), asking for their data to be presented and removed.

Back to the DSR: What Causes the Flood of Data Privacy Requests? 

Data privacy laws like the GDPR give customers the right to submit requests for access and removal of their data from organizations’ databases at any given moment.

<hl>Here’s why we predict significantly more requests during or immediately after the holidays:<hl>

  • Time is data: When consumers have more time on their hands, businesses are bound to get more requests. In 2020, when quarantines forced people to stay home, companies reported an increase in DSAR submissions. This year, people often still have fewer options to travel and party during the holidays, giving them time to conduct a data audit. 
  • Reason to worry: Shoppers pay attention to the spike in the information provided to businesses, and they are concerned about their privacy. Two-thirds of shoppers stated that they are worried about potential data breaches over the holidays. Our data shows a 75% increase in sign-ups to shopping services during this season, which gives the average consumer plenty to worry about. 

At Mine, last year we also saw a spike in the number of data deletion requests that are sent to e-commerce companies by consumers after the holiday shopping. With a 1574% increase in data reclaims in early December, followed by a 423% increase in reclaims from the annual average after Christmas. 

Make Your List, Check it Twice: Preparing Your Holiday DSR Strategy 

If you feel overwhelmed and worry that your business might be affected by too many subject requests, it’s time to find out what you can do ahead of the holiday spike of data privacy requests. <hl>Companies can prepare by following these steps:<hl>

  • Creating a standardized DSAR format: A smooth and efficient process for handling these requests includes ready-to-use formats for customers and your team. Make everyone’s life easier and reduce going back and forth by creating standardized formats at your company for submission and response of these data rights requests and 3rd party updates. 
  • Train your team: Speaking of your team, a data privacy compliance refresher course is a good idea right before the holiday season. Sending detailed DSR guidelines to everyone on your team in advance will also come in handy. Make sure every relevant stakeholder knows exactly what to do if and when they come across such a request, including the right steps to take, team members to inform, and the logic behind compliance requirements. 
  • Better manage and locating your data: Make sure you are keeping track of your data by continuously mapping your data sources. The easier you’ll find it to track users’ information across all databases and ensure you don’t miss a thing or expose your business to compliance risks. 
  • Embrace technology: Tools like Mine for Business help companies manage DSRs quickly and efficiently. By adopting Privacy Ops technologies, you can ensure that no request will go overlooked, decreasing the burden even during busy times. 
  • Data privacy as a business advantage: If your company treats customers’ data right, turn it into an advantage and let the world know. During the holiday season, customers do a lot of online research before making purchases and choose brands they trust. Demonstrate your trustworthiness by promoting a respectful privacy policy. This can convince new customers and prove itself as a retention tactic that will turn first-time shoppers into loyal customers. 

The holidays are the busiest, most lucrative time of the year. <hl>Don’t waste this precious period dealing with data issues when you should be seizing opportunities.<hl>With enough tools and techniques to support businesses, you can keep your holiday spirit going during the busiest time of the year. Become customers’ Santa and fulfill their every wish, very much including data access requests.