Title I of the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011 is comprised of two rights – the Right to Security and the Right to Accountability. This posting focuses on the second part, the Right to Accountability.
Similar to the Right to Security, this section is short. In essence it says that each “covered entity” (see the previous post for what that entails), shall:
1. Have reasonable accountability for the adoption and implementation of policies consistent with this Act;
2. Develop a process for responding to non-frivolous individual complaints about how their personally identifiable information (PII) is collected, used and managed;
3. And lastly, document and communicate how it complies with this Act upon request from an authorized party, such as the FTC.
What this section really says can be narrowed down to one word: POLICY
Legislation aside, if your businesses or organization manages sensitive data, you should already have a formal, written policy as to how information is safeguarded, managed and accounted. So for many, this requirement is nothing new to what they should already have in place.
That being said, there are many SMB organizations that would be affected by this Act and do not have a security policy in place. It follows then, that for this reason, requiring businesses to have a security policy in place may be extremely beneficial for businesses and consumers.
And the easiest way to make a policy? Borrow from the Deming Wheel.
Here is a brief outline to writing any business process or policy:
* PLAN – put your plan in writing, assign an owner, and define how your business will comply with this Act;
* DO – put your plan in place, test it, train others on it and make it known in the organization;
* CHECK – make a checklist, regularly audit the process, verify and document results;
* ACT – improve on the process where possible.
In summary, the whole issue of accountability boils down to putting data security policies in place that are “proportional to the size and structure” of your business or organization. Even if this Act does not become law, creating a formal security policy is certainly the prudent thing to do for any business.
The next post will be on Title II, the Right to Notice and Individual Participation.