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October 22, 2021

Get privacy compliance right by cultivating a privacy mindset


Privacy compliance is a journey — not a destination. Here’s how to foster that mindset within your organization.

The Importance of Privacy

Preparing for the inevitable wave of new data privacy laws and regulations in the United States and around the globe has become a strategic imperative for businesses. That said, the patchwork of existing and emerging legislation makes it hard for legal teams to spot risks, share their concerns, and avoid regulatory pitfalls.

Certain approaches can mitigate this. A modern privacy platform like TerraTrue, for example, can help companies establish robust privacy programs and work meaningfully toward privacy compliance. But even the most sophisticated tools can’t ensure compliance on their own.

The right tools in isolation are just tools. The right tools coupled with a privacy mindset are seriously powerful.

Fostering a Privacy Mindset

For privacy programs to get off the ground and do what they set out to do, people have to be ready and willing to make privacy a key focus and top priority. This mindset has to exist in every single department and among every employee. Achieving compliance success requires everyone working toward a shared goal with a shared conviction.

To develop the strongest privacy mindset possible in your own organization, ensure you’re doing these three things:

1. Reframe the challenge.

Privacy compliance can seem daunting, foreign, and even irrelevant to some employees. That being the case, encourage them (and especially the people on your product teams) to see privacy obligations not as a burden on the development process, but as a value-add.

Show employees how focusing on privacy in all stages of the product development process bolsters innovation. Be clear that focusing on privacy allows teams to innovate quickly while knowing that they’re designing and developing products that meet the privacy expectations of customers. The more you frame privacy as an asset and not an obstacle, the better you’ll be positioned to develop that attitude across your organization.

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2. Care about employee perspectives.

Privacy policies can be confusing. It’s on you to educate and listen to your employees. Remember: Product managers, engineers, designers, and other personnel typically don’t want to do harm when it comes to privacy; they just might not always understand privacy regulations or expectations. So create policies that encourage people to ask questions and voice their concerns.

Besides this, practice empathy during research, development, and beyond as everyone works to ensure compliance. If you haven’t historically had much of an organizational privacy mindset, this will feel new and possibly out of people’s comfort zones. Be mindful of what you’re asking employees to do and how you’re asking them to shift their perspectives. This understanding will let you build a stronger, more foundational privacy mindset.

3. Lead by example.

It likely goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: You can’t foster a privacy mindset if you don’t mean it or show it. Make it clear that privacy goes beyond your legal and compliance teams. Don’t just tell employees that it’s a collective responsibility — show them.

Make sure they see you prioritizing privacy obligations. Use your platform to talk about why compliance is important, too. If you want privacy compliance to matter to others, you have to demonstrate that it matters to you first.

Privacy should always be top of mind for businesses. And specifically, developing a privacy mindset should be a key priority. Compliance requires collective action and belief in the same goal. To learn more about adopting a strong privacy mindset and about how our privacy platform can help you ensure compliance every step of the way, book time to chat with one of our privacy experts here.