Gartner Predicts 10-fold Increase in Fines for Mishandling Personal Data

Advisory firm Gartner has issued a forecast indicating that fines arising from mismanagement of subject rights will experience a tenfold surge, surpassing $1 billion by 2026 — an escalation from the figures in 2022.
India laptop usersSubject rights requests (SRRs) are defined by Gartner as legal entitlements that empower individuals to assert demands and potentially effect changes related to the usage of their personal data.

In the evolving landscape of data privacy, the efficient management of SRRs has evolved into an essential prerequisite for establishing trust, particularly within Business-to-Consumer (B2C) organizations. Nader Henein, VP Analyst at Gartner, stressed the significance of automating subject rights or consumer privacy rights management for B2C organizations to cultivate trust and create positive privacy user experiences.

Nonetheless, mismanagement or inefficient handling of SRRs, combined with an underdeveloped privacy user experience, can counteract the substantial investments directed toward fostering favorable customer sentiment.

Ramifications of Poor SRR Handling

Organizations that manage data are obligated to address SRRs within specific timeframes. Delays or inadequate responses to these requests can erode customer trust and satisfaction. Extended waiting periods for responses negatively impact the customer experience and sentiment. Moreover, regulatory bodies frequently impose penalties for non-compliance, underscoring the necessity for prompt adherence to requests.

Henein highlighted the opportunity for organizations to engage with privacy-conscious customers when handling SRRs. He emphasized that privacy user experience should be crafted with the same care as customer-facing services to nurture positive customer sentiment.

Notably, various jurisdictions mandate digital entities to uphold the privacy rights of their employees, which necessitates the same meticulous approach as customer data. Interestingly, the cost per request often skews higher for employee SRRs due to the complexity and volume of data involved.

To enhance the handling of SRRs, SRM leaders are advised to establish a metrics framework for SRRs to ensure timely, cost-effective, and scalable responses.

The Future of SRRs

While the need for efficient subject rights delivery and fulfillment persists, Gartner envisions a shift towards a more automated, zero-touch model. This approach aims to empower users to access informative rights through a privacy portal. Such a portal would allow individuals to explore detailed insights into their information, its utilization, and the parties involved in its use.

Organizations clinging to manual SRR processes face potential regulatory penalties, reputational damage, and maintenance expenses. In contrast, transparency, customer involvement, and the adoption of automated SRR fulfillment methods offer substantial advantages for businesses seeking to navigate the evolving landscape of data privacy.

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