Cloud Data Privacy & Governance: Key Principles

Cloud Data Privacy & Governance: Key Principles

Cloud Data Privacy & Governance: Key Principles

Top use cases for cloud technologies include cloud-based data warehouses, data lakes, and lake houses, according to 57% of organizations surveyed in Denodo’s Global Cloud Survey 2022. Housing data in the cloud is a top initiative in 48% of responding organizations. As the business-consumer relationship becomes more digitized, companies can take advantage of cloud solutions to handle an ever-widening stream of increasingly regulated customer data. Let’s take a look at the principles of cloud data privacy and the benefits it offers companies today.

Cloud Data Privacy

Customer data will only increase as more digital touchpoints and channels open up. All the services and information once accessible only from local computers now “live” on the Internet—commonly referred to as “the cloud.” This kind of remote storage and accessibility offers many benefits for housing and protecting sensitive data, such as:

  • Cost savings. Using the cloud to store data is more cost-effective than purchasing on-site storage and servers. Companies can buy the exact storage capacity they need without investing in unnecessary physical storage.
  • Flexibility. It is far easier to expand cloud storage than to increase physical storage space when demand grows. Likewise, companies can cut back on cloud data capacity at any time, as demand decreases or fluctuates.
  • Centralization. Cloud data solutions simplify governance, collaboration, and access through centralized data management. On-premise storage often creates silos that slow down decision-making and allow loopholes in data security.
  • Security. Cloud data solutions have dedicated safeguards to protect data. These include encryption, masking, and firewalls compliant with regulatory standards. Cloud storage also has built-in technologies for recovery across several servers as a safeguard against data loss and corruption.
  • Automation. Cloud solutions automate routine tasks like manual data collection and organization. Advanced platforms also automate data cleaning such as deleting duplicates and errors to preserve accuracy.

Cloud Data Governance Principles

Applying key guiding principles for data governance can help ensure cloud data privacy. These include prioritizing privacy and compliance, managing accessibility and usage, setting data quality metrics, establishing protocols for data retention and deletion, and automating regular audits and reports. Let’s take a closer look.

Privacy and Compliance

In Denodo’s survey, 72.3% of respondents say that when thinking about adopting cloud data solutions, they’re concerned about security, compliance, and governance. However, improved security takes third place among the top motivators (45.5%) for adopting cloud-based computing.

In order to make cloud data privacy a reality, companies need to choose a cloud data solution designed for privacy compliance and security. Platforms must build visibility and transparency around data use through audit logs, access policies, and tracking, among others.

For consumer-facing businesses, cloud solutions that automate data subject access requests (DSARs) are a must. Platforms that manage consent across different jurisdictions are also necessary for global compliance.

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Lastly, check to make sure the platform’s infrastructure is watertight and meets global standards of data security. Make an inventory of data safeguards like authentication, encryption, firewalls, backup, and contingency plans for data emergencies.

Accessibility and Usage

Once the issue of data privacy and security has been settled, companies can think about how cloud-stored data is shared and used. Administrators can start by setting up governance frameworks that incorporate accountability into access and usage. This way, transparency is practiced throughout the entire data lifecycle in the cloud.

Companies should also look for cloud solutions that unify data from different silos. This makes it easier for administrators to keep track of users and activity. Advanced platforms can also help admins enforce access control by assigning permissions at a granular level, such as by region or user role.

Data Quality Metrics

For successful cloud data initiatives, companies need to identify quality metrics that ensure data is up-to-date and accurate. These metrics include:

  • Completeness. Records should not have missing entries, columns, or rows.
  • Consistency. Data files must be the same across the cloud regardless of access point.
  • Relevance. Data must be continually updated to stay accurate and relevant.
  • Accuracy. Data must be free from errors like mistaken entries, duplicates, and outdated information.

Cloud solutions that support the ingestion of structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data are an important first step toward maintaining quality in preparation for data consolidation and cleaning. Advanced solutions that automate data cleaning and enrichment are extremely beneficial when managing large amounts of data in the cloud.

Data Retention / Archiving / Purging

Another function cloud users need to think about is how to manage data at the end of its lifecycle. Administrators need to define limits and policies for the following:

Data retention. How long is data stored for regulatory compliance? Where should records be kept and in what format?

Data archiving. Which data files are no longer active or necessary? Where to move them and how to govern access to archived data?

Data purging. How to prepare obsolete and transient data for responsible, permanent deletion? How to automate deletion mechanisms in the cloud to ensure periodic purging?

Asking these questions helps companies preserve cloud data privacy through proper deletion and destruction of sensitive data.

Regular Auditing and Automated Reporting

Companies should also look for cloud solutions that enable regular internal audits of stored data. These audits should be scheduled and logged to create a record of administrative changes and actions. Internal audits should focus on the following areas:

  • Suspicious activity patterns
  • Unauthorized access
  • Outdated requirements for compliance
  • Baseline data risks
  • Overall data quality

Preferably, audit reports should be automated for quick and convenient sharing with external auditors.

In summary, cloud data solutions can deliver a variety of benefits, including cost savings, flexibility, and improved security. Companies can ensure cloud data privacy by implementing key principles of governance, like ensuring privacy and compliance, data quality metrics, and regular auditing, among others. Applying these principles maximizes the benefits of moving on-site data into the cloud.

Maintain Data Privacy Compliance With Treasure Data

Here at Treasure Data, we take data privacy seriously. Our enterprise customer data platform keeps data secure while delivering the best data privacy solutions for your company’s needs. It’s no secret: we keep data safe for some of the largest companies in the world.

Treasure Data Customer Data Cloud is an integrated suite of cloud-based customer data platform solutions. Treasure Data provides insight by collecting and centralizing customer data, unifying profiles, and analyzing journeys to surface hidden trends in customer behavior.

Use Customer Data Cloud to:

  • Collect and centralize customer data from all sources in one powerful platform
  • Unify customer profiles using online + offline data
  • Keep customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) safe
  • Automate workflows for DSARs and privacy requests
  • Keep global teams privacy-regulation compliant
  • Manage permissions by region, organization, role, and more
  • Integrate with authentication services for secure identification
  • Create premium audit logs for monitoring activity
  • And more

To discover how you can use Treasure Data’s customer data platform to apply data privacy principles, download our white paper today. Want to learn more? Request a demo, call 1.866.899.5386, or contact us for more information.  

Building Trust Beyond Compliance

Jim Skeffington
Jim Skeffington
Jim Skeffington is a Technical Product Marketing Manager at Treasure Data. He has years of experience working with data, including as a financial analyst, data architect, and statistician. Recently, he was recognized by the Royal Statistical Society for his thought leadership in the fields of statistics, data science, and data research. He is also proud to serve as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.
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