Why it is important to automate processes in data protection? Experts Opinion


When we invited data protection solution providers from Europe to participate in the EADPP Catalog project, we asked companies to fill out a simple questionnaire. One of the questions was: "Why do you think it is important to automate processes in our industry?"

Not surprisingly, respondents share a strong believe in the crucial role of the process automation in dataprotection:

 "Automation of processes in the data protection space is important because it enhances efficiency, accuracy, scalability, compliance, security, and cost-effectiveness, ultimately helping organizations effectively manage data privacy obligations and protect sensitive information"
David Milson, Trūata

"It's important because data protection is the new, societal norm. That means businesses have to get on board, too. And that means we need to make it easier for businesses to comply with existing privacyregulations. That's why it's important to automate the processes involved".
Stine Mangor Tornmark, Openli

"It is incredibly important to automate processes in the industry, particularly when it comes to Privacy and Cybersecurity related Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC). Automation can help organizations to streamline GRC processes, reduce errors and inefficiencies, and ultimately, ensure compliance with regulatory requirements".
Christos Makedonas, Enactia

Participants named different drivers for automation of the data protection processes in the company. The most often mentioned were efficiency , cost savings and security but there are others also.

Efficiency / Resources optimization

 "Privacy teams often have limited resources and have to do more with less. Automation saves time, money, and manpower, so it fits well in such conditions."
Piotr Korzeniowski, Piwik PRO

"Data Protection requires a large amount of administrative tasks to ensure compliance. Automation can greatly increase the efficiency of these administration tasks. By reducing the time spent on repetitive administrative tasks it provides more time for DPO and their staff to analyze, review and improve the data processing activities within their organization"
Nollag Conneely, PrivacyEngine

"The digitalization of the records of processing activities combined with the automated creation of compliance assessments and compliance measures allows for the creation of precise deliverables of high quality while providing significant savings in terms of time and resources needed for generating them. This allows organizations to dedicate their limited financial and human resources to the implementation of precise legal, technical and organizational measures that generate an effective improvement of the level of data protection and securitization for the benefit of data subjects and the organizations themselves"
Sabine Mersch, TPOmap

"Automating processes in our industry is important for several reasons, and one of the most significant benefits is the substantial time savings it offers to our clients..
Automation allows organizations to streamline their operations, reducing the time and effort required to research, manage, and implement data retention terms. This increased efficiency enables businesses to allocate resources more effectively, ultimately leading to improved productivity and better outcomes, while ensuring legal compliance".

Wanne Pemmelaar and Salsabil Anjum, filerskeepers

Cost Reduction

 "Automating data privacy processes can save organizations significant costs by reducing the risk of errors and compliance violations and improving overall efficiency".
Russell Raizenberg, PrivIQ

"Automating GRC processes can help organizations to save costs by reducing the need for manual labor and improving overall efficiency. This can be especially important for small to medium-sized businesses that may not have the resources to hire dedicated GRC personnel".
Christos Makedonas, Enactia

"GDPR compliance is often perceived as a "necessary evil" by the top management, as in their perception it doesn't contribute to the creation of new value and revenues, but creates additional costs. Automation allows for keeping these costs down without compromising quality". 
Łukasz Bonczol, Gallio PRO


 "With automation, you can trust that your cybersecurity is always accurate and consistent. Automation follows a proven set of steps to minimize your exposure to cyber threats and optimize your performance".
Kevin Messy, Cosmian

"Automated processes can enable continuous monitoring of data privacy policies, detecting and responding to potential breaches in real-time, reducing the risk of data loss or theft"
Yosra Jarraya, Astran (ex Astrachain)

"...Automation helps to raise awareness and security resilience and prevent incidents and potential fines and reputation risk".
Drazen Orescanin, Data Privacy Manager


"In an ever-changing industry, automation can help us increase efficiency, reduce costs, and allow new solution to scale faster. Creating consistent and streamlined processes can also facilitate collaboration between the main actors"
Jérémy Zaccherini, Zama

"Automation enables organizations to scale their data privacy efforts more easily. As the volume of data and privacy requirements increase, automation allows organizations to manage more data with ease".
Philip Scheepers and Russell Raizenberg, PrivIQ

"Scale as an organization's data protection needs grow, making it easier to manage large amounts of data. As data volumes increase, automating processes becomes essential to manage the complexity of data privacy compliance. Automation can help organizations manage large amounts of data, identify potential breaches, and respond to them quickly"
Yosra Jarraya, Astran

Another important argument to take into account when considering implementation of data protection technology is a service quality. It may be improved by reducing human error and using up-to-date data:

Service quality

 "...Automation reduces the chances of human error, which can lead to data breaches, compliance violations, and reputational damage".
Russell Raizenberg, PrivIQ

"Automated processes can help to reduce the risk of human error, which can be a significant problem in GRC. By eliminating manual processes and introducing automated checks and balances, organizations can ensure that data is accurate and up-to-date, reducing the risk of non-compliance or other issues"
Christos Makedonas, Enactia

 "Process automation can improve the quality of any services. Not only by making the service more user-friendly and easy to use, but also by reducing errors linked in particular to poor data quality. Being able to automate processes based on up-to-date data greatly improves the quality and efficiency of the process".
Frederic Lebeau, Datavillage - The Data Collaboration Platform

A few more industry specific considerations regarding process automation:

Involvement of process owners

As you are perfectly aware, data protection is not just DPO's concern. Automation helps to get other stakeholders on board.

"... Automation also enable organization to decentralize privacy tasks and involve all process owners in the organization in joint workflow..."
Drazen Orescanin, Data Privacy Manager

Data protection by design and by default

 "The aim of any organization should be to embed data protection by design and by default. This is what automation ... brings to the equation".
Claude Saulnier, Bizoneo


At the same time the respondents warned data protection specialists against total automation. As everything in privacy the decisions should be very contextual, based on each individual process:

 "I'm not sure that all processes should be automated (if at all possible) but when so it could help prevent security breaches and could help users to comply with (company) standards".
Dixon van Iersel, Support2U

And finally, it is nice to finish by the quote about what is the ultimate goal for many privacy technology providers:

"I think it's important to provide the DPO with effective tools to help them collect, organise and manage information from a large number of people, and to assess and document privacy compliance".
Mihai Ghita, Sypher Solutions