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8 min read

Challenges in Building a Data Privacy Plan (and How to Address Them)

You’ve seen the stats, read the blogs, heard the warnings: a concerning number of data breaches happen each year and cost companies like yours in the millions. There’s always a chance your company could be impacted by a cyberattack, which is why you know how mission-critical a data privacy plan is. The challenge is building a useful one. 

We know it can be hard to create a plan when the landscape is constantly shifting and there are multiple moving parts. In this blog, we highlight some of the challenges you may face when trying to operationalize your plan and share a few tips on how you can overcome them.

You don’t know who is responsible for what

When a data privacy incident takes you by surprise, it’s OK to spend a few moments freaking out. But after you take a breath or two, what’s the move? Who do you call on? Who will have the answers you need? Being unable to answer that question will leave you more frazzled and frustrated, creating a mini-crisis while trying to address the major one.

One way to overcome this challenge is by assembling a team of “privacy champions” — the primary stakeholders in your data privacy plan responsible for creating playbooks and workflows to address any privacy issues that arise. With this team in place, you’ll know exactly who to turn to if things go left.

You don’t have an accurate read on your risk level

It’s difficult to create an effective plan to mitigate data privacy risks when you’re unaware of your risk level. What types of data move through your business? What are your internal data governance practices? What data privacy laws are you subject to and how compliant are you?

Knowing your risk level is the first step to building an aligned data privacy plan. You can use contract lifecycle management (CLM) software to regularly audit your agreements for risk markers, reporting obligations, and liabilities. This helps you to create a plan that addresses the real-time needs of your company and prepares you for potential crises.

You haven’t practiced

There’s a reason schools and other institutions often run drills to prepare for potential disasters: It helps people know what to do in the event of a real disaster. The same goes for your data privacy plan. 

To facilitate a calm and orderly response to a data privacy crisis, coordinate with your privacy champions to run through your process. This not only gives you practice but also an opportunity to identify and iron out the kinks in the plan. 

You lean too heavily on manual processes

Manual processes are the kiss of death for time-sensitive issues. Digging through your drive for contracts, tracking legal projects using spreadsheets, and combing through individual contracts to find what you’re looking for will increase the time it takes to build your data privacy plan. 

Instead, rely on technology like CLM to track important agreements and automate parts of your data privacy plan workflow. Update your privacy terms, pull only the contracts you need, and track reporting obligations all in one place, making it less likely for important things to fall through the cracks.


A data privacy plan is a crucial part of every business’s emergency and disaster preparedness plan. To build a plan that helps you mitigate risk and swiftly address potential incidents, make sure you understand your company’s risk profile to implement the correct remedy, build a team of “privacy champions” to run point on the data privacy plan, practice your crisis response, and use technology to supplement your efforts. LinkSquares CLM can help you get your ducks in a row and seamlessly manage the many moving parts of a data privacy plan. To further keep you up to date on all things data privacy, we've complied a list of resources as well! 

Emily Weiner is a Marketing Campaign Manager at LinkSquares