Chief Privacy Officer

The Chief Privacy Officer often has accountability without full control.  It seems that privacy breaches are all too common and have serious consequences, even if they are accidental.  If the information you hold on your customers, prospects or patients rises to the level of PII or PHI, a myriad of laws and guidance applies, which will vary based on the type of information, how it is used and where you gather and store it.  Despite the best efforts of privacy professionals, improper use or inappropriate disclosure of personal information does occur and creates serious liabilities.

Clearly, privacy issues have the attention of both your customers and to regulators.  The result is that any problems are highly visible with  consequences ranging from embarrassing headlines to fines.  There are several key challenges for the chief privacy officer.

Because privacy is a high visibility issue, a range of regulations and mandates have evolved over time.  These vary based on jurisdiction, type of industry and the type of information that you hold.  In the US, state laws have proliferated while federal mandates such as HIPAA have new enforcement.  If you do business globally, a wide range of laws, such as the European directive, come into play.

Your business environment is dynamic with changing business activities and relationships. Every company relies on business relationships with third parties including joint ventures, clinical research, business associates, downstream entities, agents, brokers, suppliers and their suppliers.  This may make for great business opportunities, but it creates special challenges for the chief privacy officer. In many cases, you may need to share PII or PHI with these third parties which complicate matters even more. 

It is probably not possible for your company’s employees to know what their obligations are without extensive support from your privacy professionals.  Policies and training can help, but it is more important to know what these different departments and groups are doing and give them specific guidance.  The lay person needs concrete directions that they can follow to ensure they don’t create a privacy issue.

How we can help

  • Our BenchMark platform has an assessment engine so you can register users, determine what they are doing and what laws and policies apply.  This is also useful in tracking changes to the business over time.
  • By comparing the answers from your departments and third parties, the business logic in Benchmark can automatically generate a feedback report specific to that function with guidance in simple language that you can customize.  This ensures you have a record of what instructions you have provided.
  • By assessing your departments, providing guidance and monitoring their compliance, you can easily deal with any audit requirements.
  • If you don't have the staff to do this, Avior offers a Managed Service option.
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