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Hello all, and happy Thursday!  

For those of you who pay close attention to the data privacy space, the data privacy advocacy group “none of your business” (stylized as noyb) will be a familiar name. 

noyb has recently released the results of a new survey (linked below) recording the responses of over 1,000 data protection officers (DPOs), and the results are illuminating. (Although we do need to keep the potential for bias in mind—noyb can’t be considered a neutral party in the data privacy space). 

The headline findings included: 

  • 70% of respondents believe that authorities need to issue clear decisions and enforce the GDPR to ensure compliance, and 
  • 74% say that authorities would find “relevant violations" if they walked through the door of an average company. 

These findings don’t surprise me, however. After all, what DPO is going to advocate for unclear decisions and less enforcement? What DPO isn’t acutely aware of the businesses’ compliance shortcomings? 

Rather, I think some of the more interesting findings refer to the conflict between supporting compliance and supporting the business. DPOs and privacy professionals as a whole are in a tough spot; on the one hand, they have to minimize risk and support compliance, but on the other, they have to be an enabler of the business and not a blocker. The noyb report highlights this conflict, finding that: 

  • 46% of respondents said that sales and marketing were actively pressuring them to limit compliance. 
  • 32% felt pressured by members of senior management.  
  • 56% of respondents said it was difficult to convince the marketing department to pursue compliance. 
  • 38.5% had problems convincing senior management.  

Figures like these make me wonder: Would sales, marketing, and senior management find compliance so burdensome if they enabled their privacy professional or DPO to the fullest extent? Is compliance a zero-sum game or can sales, marketing, senior management, and privacy all win at the same time? I’m inclined to think the latter. 



P.S. Our CPRA enforcement webinar is taking place TODAY at 1 pm EST, 10 am PST. If you see this early enough, you might still be able to reserve your seat! 

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