Privacy Tools Are Expanding At a Faster Pace Than You Might Think

Privacy tools and the needs of privacy professionals

When thinking about the growth of the privacy tools market, it’s easiest to think in terms of a portfolio of tools that can be used for a variety of different purposes. For example, the IAPP report distinguishes between Enterprise Privacy Management (EPM) and Privacy Program Management (PPM) tools. The EPM tools represent a way to map data and extract the greatest value from it, whereas PPM tools are more aligned with the needs of privacy office professionals.

The goal, of course, is to use the right mix of tools from the portfolio at the right time. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of new trends in the privacy technology space, especially those being created for B2B organizations to maximize the value of their data.

Bracy acknowledges that EPM solutions, which are about value creation, can be harder to implement than PPM solutions, which are compliance-centric. EPM solutions generally involve buy-in from the IT department, the CISO/CIO, and others. But they are extremely promising once they are implemented: “Such solutions could be data discovery solutions that crawl through structured and unstructured data sets to locate sensitive personal data so organizations can triage risk… These help with compliance, sure, but they also provide business intelligence and help develop data-driven products that contribute to the bottom line.”

Future areas of innovation and development

However, while technology offers a solution, it does not offer the only solution. For an executive or manager in an organization, it might be easy to assume that technology is always the answer. However, as an important first step, organizations need to wrap their arms around the vast amount of data they are creating, and understand how it flows throughout the organization to create value.

In short, organizations need to assess how much data they have before implementing some of the privacy tools described in the IAPP report. As Bracy suggests, “In broad terms, the biggest problem area companies experience right now is simply knowing what data they have, where it’s stored, and what consent and permissions are attached to it. Vendors are racing to help companies get a holistic view of their data so they can know where their risk is and where their opportunity lies.”

Responsive privacy technology market

The good news, of course, is that the privacy technology market has proven to be very responsive to the needs of privacy professionals. If you need it, they will build it. That might sound a bit too naive, especially given all the concerns about the implementation of the GDPR or other privacy laws and regulations, but the IAPP report on privacy technology vendors certainly offers hope that the right privacy tools are going to appear at the right time to help organizations deal with the increasingly complex and sophisticated issues of protecting personal information and privacy in the digital era.

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