Data Mapping and GDPR: How Are They Related?

July 02 18:18 2019 Print This Article

Every business enterprise receives data from an array of diverse data points. The volume of data is growing, and businesses understand the importance of leveraging data and converting them into actionable insights. Owing to data diversity, it becomes important to integrate them in a standard format. This is where data mapping takes a precedence. It helps establish relationships between different data models. Although data mapping offers several business benefits, it is also an integral aspect of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance. This post discusses the concept of data mapping and how it helps you adhere to GDPR.

What is Data Mapping?

As the name suggests, data mapping is a term for mapping the journey of data in an organization. A data map answers questions ranging from the origin of data to its journey through the organization. Today, most business enterprises are using various types of data mapping software, including ETL data mapping tools, to achieve their data mapping targets. Depending on the capabilities of these software applications, data mapping is used to perform a wide range of data management tasks such as data integration, data migration, data warehousing and data transformation.

How Does a Typical Data Map Look Like?

Typically, a data map includes the following information:

  • Type of data collected
  • Basis of data processing (personal or sensitive)
  • Purpose of data collection
  • Storage period of data
  • Place of storage
  • Conditions of data storage
  • Various data transfer destinations
  • Location of third party vendors (especially, international third party vendors)
  • Protocols followed during the data transfer (to international third party vendors)
  • Legal basis for data processing

GDPR Compliance and Data Mapping

The GDPR mandates business enterprises to ensure fair handling and security of the information they own. To assure the security, it is important to track the data journey from its point of origin to a conclusion. Without a detailed insight into data lifecycle, it is difficult to implement any security. Thus, data mapping becomes an essential step to achieve GDPR compliance. The following GDPR articles and their requirements will help you understand the importance of data mapping.

  • Article 30: Maintaining a written record of data processing activities in an organization is mandatory. A data map serves as a best written record, which organizations can easily retrieve and present at the time of GDPR audit.
  • Article 25: Data mapping helps organizations showcase their commitment towards data privacy.
  • Article 6: This article governs personal data processing under a lawful basis. Data mapping helps organizations to show the basis of processing–personal or sensitive.
  • Article 28: Data maps enable GDPR auditors to understand the extent of third party access to organizational data. All organizations are required to maintain a list of third-parties with whom they might be sharing their business data for various reasons.
  • Article 35: This article discusses Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA), and data maps enable business enterprises to meet this requirement effectively. To analyze the risk of a particular process, an organization needs to understand the data flow across an organization–how the data is being collected, where it is stored, who uses the information, how long it will be retained and so on.

How an Efficient Data Mapping Software Helps in Achieving GDPR Compliance

Now, what is an efficient data mapping software? It can be any application that aids a business organization to exploit the benefits of data mapping while adhering to the GDPR regulations. The following are a few important features of such GDPR compliant data mapping tools, which helps distinguish them from others.

  • Ability to Identify and Map Personal Data: Advanced data mapping software applications, which may or may not involve ETL data mapping software, allows users to identify and map personal data flow in an organization. They are designed to handle a large influx of data. These solutions utilize metadata to identify various data elements. The metadata helps in creating data maps that answer questions ranging from the origin of data, type of data collected, data subjects involved in process, service level agreements, among others. Thus, advanced data mapping software applications enable users to maintain, manage and monitor data maps for business efficiency and GDPR compliance.
  • Helps Ensure Data Security: Professional-grade data mapping software solutions are equipped with various security features that enable users to secure their database while providing them access to data, whenever required. They also allow organizations to conduct risk analysis of their data and ensure adherence to DPIA.
  • Assures a Better Control: Earlier reference to GDPR articles suggest how GDPR mandates enterprises to ensure data protection while handling personal data. An efficient data mapping software will help them address this need. They enable users to modify their applications to establish control, as well as safeguard personal data effectively.

Achieving GDPR compliance is not an easy task. However, you can easily address it at various stages and it will help your business adhere to privacy standards while effectively meeting customer demands. You can take advantage of various data mapping software applications including advanced ETL data mapping tools to create effective data maps, stay compliant and, above all, drive your business forward.

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GDPR Associates
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