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Privacy and Data Protection: It all starts with locating PII

Thursday, July 18, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Robert Hilson
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This article is a whitepaper authored by Dr. Johannes Scholtes, chairman and chief strategy officer of ACEDS Affiliate Member ZyLAB. To learn more about Zylab’s information management and e-discovery tools, visit


Recent developments in the field of privacy and data protection stress the need for enterprises to review their privacy practices. Companies that manage large volumes of customer or employee information (or both) and any form of health or credit card information, will demand higher levels of data protection to ensure they are able to keep their privacy promises to consumers.

In today’s legal climate companies are increasingly facing court sanctions for the inability to find and produce electronic information, with breaches of privacy and security being highly penalized.

Companies should rethink the way they store and use Personally Identifiable Information (PII). There are many tools available to help organizations conduct company-wide privacy and security risk assessments. These are very useful for testing processes and workflows, and comparing the results against requirements for privacy and security regulations will provide valuable insight for improvement.

The biggest challenge however is locating PII. Every organization houses many terabytes of data that continue to grow exponentially, and in this large volume of information (aka Big Data) is a large amount of data that is subject to privacy and data protection regulations.

In most organizations nobody seems to own that data, knows what data is where or what information is in that data. Having no control over that data dramatically increases the risk of unauthorized disclosures of PII, or at least will inevitably lead to high cost and immense risks in case of litigation.

Therefore, an effective path to compliance with privacy and data protection laws begins with assessing which information needs to be secured and where it is located. In this whitepaper we outline how technology can help.

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