Consumer data privacy matters more than ever. From Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), and China’s Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), as well as similar data privacy mandates in Brazil, South Africa, Thailand, and Canada, pressure is mounting on organizations everywhere to implement systems and processes that ensure responsible management of customer data.

Companies that don’t comply with data privacy regulations do so at their peril. Failure to prioritize data compliance can lead to major penalties — maximum fines of up to 4% of the company’s previous financial year’s worldwide annual revenue for GDPR breaches and up to 5% of its annual revenue for a PIPL breach, or $2500 for every unintentional CCPA violation and $7500 for every intentional CCPA violation. But the repercussions are not just financial. In an era when 48% of US consumers say misuse of their personal information has caused them to lose trust in a brand, your brand’s reputation is also at stake.

So, what can your organization do to avoid a costly data breach?

Knowing that your customer data is stored in a secure, centralized repository is a great place to start. For this reason, a customer data platform should be considered foundational to your data compliance strategy. A CDP is a prebuilt system that creates a unified customer database by collecting data from multiple sources such as servers, CRM, and email, creating individual profiles, and making these accessible to other systems securely and responsibly.

Let’s take a closer look at how the customer data platform’s features and capabilities ensure your organization complies with data privacy regulations.

Removing data silos

To comply with data privacy regulations, companies must be transparent about the data they collect and how it’s collected. This process is complicated when a business’s systems and touchpoints are fragmented and siloed. Customer data platforms solve this problem by eliminating data silos and providing a single infrastructure that provides greater visibility and control over data. This is crucial when managing consumer compliance inquiries that require organizations to locate source data without delay so that deletion requests can be fulfilled within a given timeframe.

Unifying customer data

One of the customer data platform’s key capabilities is identifying and unifying customer actions to build an accurate customer profile. This means that the platform can track every interaction, where it has taken place, attribute this action to the right customer, and aggregate the information in the same place. Having this information in one location makes it possible to assemble a complete set of personal data which can be reviewed, corrected, and exported when required.

Connecting with data sources

By connecting with data sources, the CDP collects data from source systems and may also feed data back to them. This allows CDP operators to keep up with any updates in the source systems and ensure their connections are not malfunctioning. The process also helps to support data privacy requirements including data correction and deletion which require connections to customer data repositories.

Providing a single customer view

Data privacy regulations including GDPR and CCPA require businesses to comply with the right to be forgotten. By providing a single customer view, a customer data platform makes it possible to delete a customer’s profile in one click. Subject access requests (SARS), even large, multiple requests can be carried out at short notice. Non-essential information can also be removed if necessary, without the need to delete all data.

Privacy by design

According to GDPR requirements, systems need to be designed with privacy in mind. This means that organizations must implement technical and organizational measures that support data protection principles. A CDP meets these requirements by centralizing access to a customer’s personal data and sharing this data with other systems, without these systems directly accessing each other’s data. In doing so, the customer’s data privacy remains intact.

Sitecore CDP and customer data compliance

Sitecore CDP is an advanced customer data platform that takes a privacy by design approach to enable your business to track real-time behaviors as customers interact with digital touchpoints such as websites, mobile apps, and email messages, with or without capturing the customer’s PII (information that directly identifies individuals). By providing the peace of mind that customer data is protected and marketing activities are compliant with privacy regulations, Sitecore CDP offers organizations a solid foundation for their data compliance strategy.

Discover more about how a customer data platform can help your organization build loyalty and trust or get to know the advanced capabilities of Sitecore CDP.

Fiona Hilliard is a Content Marketing Manager at Sitecore. Connect with her on LinkedIn