Data privacy is a rising concern for most consumers today. As the world grows more digital, the debate around personal data and privacy has ramped up, with legislation restricting third-party data use. It’s critical for brands to have clear visibility into all of their customer data to ensure they are using it responsibly. In May 2018, the European Union began enforcing General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to protect EU residents’ personal data and put control of that data into their hands. As consumers grew more concerned with how brands managed their personal data, given public controversies surrounding Cambridge Analytica and other high profile incidents, other data privacy legislations like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) followed. Now, there is more pressure on organizations to maintain trust and transparency with the data they collect from customers as well as quickly and accurately fulfill any customer requests to remove their information.
When brands mismanage personal data, they can face significant legal consequences and lose customer trust. However, organizations often struggle to maintain total data compliance and governance around their data because it’s inherently scattered across multiple sources and consuming applications. As data silos continue to multiply, it becomes harder to know where your consumer data lives and access that data in a timely manner to comply with consumer requests. And the importance of privacy and data governance is no more important than when a customer requests to be forgotten, as stipulated in data privacy legislation like GDPR, CCDP and the recently proposed Virginia Consumer Protection Act.
An enterprise customer data platform, like Acquia CDP, makes it easier for businesses to identify where customer data lives, ensuring that all data deletion requests are accurately fulfilled to comply with GDPR and similar data privacy frameworks. Acquia’s CDP gives brands visibility into how their customer data is processed, transported and stored. Let’s look at how a CDP acts as a powerful tool for data hygiene and integrity.
A Customer Data Platform Breaks Down Data Silos, Reducing Risk and Saving Time
Today, organizations are constantly gathering data across a multitude of channels and sources, including their website, social media channels, CRM and POS systems and hundreds of other interaction points. With all these separate technologies in play, it can be difficult for businesses to find the data they need to fulfill a deletion request while keeping the integrity of their customer analytics intact.
Instead of having brands inefficiently go into each system and remove each piece of customer data individually, Acquia’s 360 Customer Profile acts as a map to help brands identify data flowing into the CDP from both upstream systems (like a CRM or order management platform) and with data being pushed into downstream systems (like email or SMS providers). The CDP doesn’t erase anything in the source or upstream systems — that responsibility lies with the company. However, it provides a more efficient way for a company to identify the source systems where customer data needs to be deleted.
Acquia CDP’s identity resolution process includes non-destructive deduping, and the system keeps parent and child records intact. This is true even when customer data needs to be removed to honor a deletion request. Acquia CDP’s Privacy API eliminates customer data from the system by permanently anonymizing the identity data while keeping the integrity of the data intact. This means that analytics performed on aggregate customer data, or machine learning trained on unified customer data, remains accurate, even though the identity of the individual has been removed.
Following a Customer Deletion Request Through Acquia CDP
Let’s say for example that Jane Doe requests Company A delete all of her data. Here is an overview of how Acquia CDP efficiently serves as an erasure hub to process such a request:
- Once a business confirms an individual’s request to purge their data, Acquia CDP will act on it within 30 days.
- The company can retrieve Jane’s Customer ID from Acquia CDP’s 360 Customer Profiles or from querying the backend data warehouse using Interactive Queries to see all the systems that contain her data.
- Acquia CDP verifies the customer ID in the CDP backend data warehouse to make sure that the Customer IDs provided align with the data stored.
- The business purges upstream systems so that personal data that is purged from the CDP will not reflow back into the CDP and no data on Jane will be retained after it is purged.
- The Privacy API will continuously purge and anonymize all personal data within the CDP by reading all stored data. The Privacy API will then re-write over existing data.
- Once data erasure is complete, it will be verified by the CDP and reported to the client.
A CDP not only helps marketers deliver more personalized customer experiences, but grants organizations more control over how all of their customer data is accessed and managed. Without a single source of truth, the company would be required to custom-build their own data processors to deal with compliance issues or outsource all requests to a third-party. These options are far more time intensive and costly than what a CDP can provide. As security standards grow more stringent, customer expectations toward the protection and use of their personal data continue to rise. Having a CDP as a central hub for data compliance becomes critical to all business operations.