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Increased regulatory scrutiny calls for rigorous data governance

Bobby Balachandran (bobby.balachandran@exterro.com) is the founder, president, and CEO of Exterro in Portland, Oregon, USA.

As general counsel and any compliance officer will tell you, COVID-19 has sparked a boom in regulatory scrutiny.[1] There’s an incessant flood of internal investigations,[2] employment claims, and corporate audits triggered by pandemic-related workforce reductions, disrupted corporate compliance processes, and dispersed working practices. Added to this are the uncertainties of a slew of new employment regulations; the impact of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and its successor, the California Private Records Act; plus the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) directives and a looming federal privacy law for the United States.[3]

Facing these growing compliance burdens, legal teams are of course taking steps to mitigate risk. One of the key strategies to tackle regulatory obligations is building reliable, defensible data management strategies. It’s a complex task since organizational data reside in so many different areas with many different data stewards from finance to information technology (IT) to human resources to marketing. Therefore, it is key for legal teams to have the ability to rapidly find and examine data, particularly in response to investigations, litigation, and second requests. Tools, experienced investigators, and forensically sound collection techniques work in harmony to prove that the original data are defensible. This sharpens the focus on data integrity.

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