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GDPR -Managing Data in the Digital Age

Posted by Rohan Kanungo (View Profile | View All Posts) | April 10, 2018 2:55 PM

Hallways of businesses across the world, especially in Europe, are abuzz with the newly minted regulation -- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As an upgrade to the previous Directive 95/46/EC, the GDPR upholds the rights of EU citizens to protect their personal data irrespective of the location of processing. The recent fracas with Facebook and unauthorized usage of personal data has brought data security and privacy into the public domain in a never before way. Today, most individuals are eager to know how their data is being used and what are organizations doing to ensure that their interest are adequately safeguarded.


The central theme in GDPR is data privacy as a fundamental human right. GDPR is unique because of this fundamental assertion that data is now central to our way of life, and therefore, its treatment cannot be trivial or an afterthought. But then, the prevalent model of data usage and treatment is not holistic and it is not focused on the right way of handling this asset, but on a narrow vision of collecting data and then curating it without an overall harmonious strategy. The basic question of the times that we live in then comes down to addressing this question of how do we handle this -- do we continue forward on the path of collecting and using data by whatever means possible? Definitely Not.


In this digitally enabled world, data is all-pervasive. It is driving the business. Unimaginable quantities and varieties of data are moving to and fro in the digital world. In this highly fungible ecosystem, it is a matter of fact that personal data and sensitive information is collected, maybe curated, and then made available for consumption. There are very few organizations who can confidently state that they have a complete handle on all the data elements in their organization.


Hence, we believe that adopting the GDPR process will make companies review their data management policies and processes, and evaluate if their data organization is aligned to the digital world and the new-age economy.


GDPR is not a set of isolated activities pertaining to legal, consulting or data management, but a combination of different processes working integrally


Adopting and assimilating GDPR in the ethos of your organization will be a catalyst for taking the necessary steps to build strong digital capabilities and creating a competitive advantage. Some of the key initiatives could be -


Data Discovery & Classification - identifying all personal data lying in fragmented or scattered systems; then categorizing to help understand the type of data within the organization and associated risk of exposure.


Data Cataloguing enabling organizations to understand and form data relationships to various business processes regardless of its sources and platforms.


Data Standardization - cleansing and consistent formatting of data coming from disparate sources subjecting it to further transformation.


Data Profiling & Quality Checks ensuring data accuracy and its completeness in a holistic fashion


Data Ownership defining clear specification of data controller's rights while modifying and deleting personal information of an individual. It also advocates for recording consent of data subjects' for storing and processing their personal data.



GDPR reinforces what has been a best-kept secret in the industry that data holds the key to competitive advantage, and treating data strategically will be a key differentiator between being hugely successful and just scratching the surface.


For more information on Infosys GDPR, visit  

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