TrustArc Blog

TRUSTe Privacy Automation Forum in NYC

December 08, 2014

By Dave Deasy, VP, Marketing at TRUSTe

Last week we held the second in a series of forums designed to bring together privacy and compliance executives to participate in a highly interactive discussion on emerging trends impacting the field of data privacy management along with the opportunity to share best practices and explore new solutions for managing these challenges. Unlike many privacy events, these events are focused on how to solve today’s problems versus merely discussing new policy developments.

The series has brought together many companies encompassing a wide range of industries. The theme of our December 4th event, held at the super hip Ace Hotel in mid-town Manhattan, was Privacy Automation. The venue was a fitting location since the high energy vibe throughout the hotel symbolizes the rapid pace privacy organizations need to move at in order to stay on top of the dynamic changes impacting their profession.

During the “Challenges” discussion, there was a lively discussion on topics ranging from how to manage privacy in the cookie-free world of mobile apps to the use of statistical IDs, merging online / offline data, wearables, the internet of things, and employee data.

The discussion then shifted to the topic of managing Privacy Assessments and an interactive demonstration of our new Assessment Manager product. Part of the Data Privacy Management Platform, Assessment Manager provides an automated way to tackle one of the top challenges faced by privacy organizations.

Per recent IAPP research, conducting privacy audits / assessments is the #2 priority investment (after employee training) for privacy organizations. While all of the attendees were in agreement as to the importance of assessments, there was a wide range of opinions regarding the frequency and process for conducting assessments. The key drivers regarding volume and frequency included the size of the company, the size of the privacy organization, and the tools available to help manage the assessment process.

One common theme was that the volume of assessment requests continues to increase as internal training programs become more pervasive and successful at showing the importance of conducing assessments. While this is a positive development, this increase is quickly straining the resources and tools currently available to manage assessments efficiently. Some of the more advanced companies have implemented customized versions of a GRC platform which have helped streamline the process, but they simply are not flexible and able to quickly scale to address emerging needs driven by the shift to mobile, evolution of the Internet of Things, new global requirements, and increased enforcement activity. Another common theme was the need for an automated way to know when a regulation changes as well as how those changes might impact past assessments.

The key takeaway was companies are looking for a way to streamline and automate the process for conducting and updating assessments in order to enable them to quickly evaluate the privacy impact of new products and business opportunities and continue support the use of data to help fuel the growth of their business.

Visit and click on the video for more information about Assessment Manager and our Data Privacy Management Platform.

If you would like to arrange for a demo of TRUSTe Assessment Manager, please send me an email ( or contact your TRUSTe Account Rep.