What Is DSAR And How To Manage It

In the age of digital transformation, data privacy is more important than ever.

Millions of individuals rely on organizations to keep their personal data safe, and this is where Data Subject Access Requests come in. 

Data Subject Access Request (DSAR) is a term that has gained currency in the era of data privacy regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA.

Businesses are in a rush to understand their obligations under the law when it comes to an individual’s right to access data held about them.

This article will delve into what DSAR is and how you can manage it. We’ll explore the importance of these requests, how to respond to them, and what steps you can take to manage them. Read on!

What Is DSAR?

A Data Subject Access Request or DSAR pertains to an individual’s request to access the personal information an organization retains about them.

This encompasses details linked to their identity, such as name, contact information, address, identification numbers, and financial data.

In compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provisions, organizations must address Data Subject Access Requests within a one-month timeframe.

Consequently, they must deliver the requested information without cost and in a user-friendly format.

Who Can Submit A DSAR And How?

There’re several groups that are allowed to submit a DSAR. They include:

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Individuals Requesting Access To Their Own Data Held By A Company

Under the GDPR, individuals can access and request copies of their personal data held by an organization. This encompasses information regarding the data’s origin and usage.

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Companies must respond within a month to adhere to such requests, offering transparent and succinct details about the stored data and its utilization.

Parents On Behalf Of Their Children

Parents or Guardians may submit DSARs on behalf of their children under the age of 16.

The parent or guardian must submit verifiable documentation, establishing their legal authority to make such a request on the child’s behalf, along with proof of identification to validate their own identity.

Court-Appointed Representatives

A court-appointed representative may submit a DSAR on an individual’s behalf if that person cannot do so, such as in cases of incapacity.

The court authorizes the representative to act in the individual’s best interests and can decide how their personal data should be used or disclosed.

How To Manage DSARs

DSARs are not always easy to manage, and organizations need well-defined processes for handling them. Below are a few tips that can help with the process:

1. Have A Response Plan

Organizations should have an action plan in place to respond to DSARs quickly and efficiently.

The plan should succinctly outline the designated individuals in charge of response, the required information to be gathered, the actions to be executed during the response, and the projected time frame for completion.

2. Train Staff

One of the most important steps in managing DSARs is making sure that staff are properly trained.

Employees should be familiar with the organization’s policies and processes for responding to DSARs and the data protection legislation governing them.

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3. Keep Records

Maintaining comprehensive records of each DSAR received is crucial, documenting the sender, submission date, and the organization’s subsequent actions.

These records must be securely stored and retained for a specified duration to ensure their proper handling.

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4. Handle Requests Professionally

Organizations should handle DSARs professionally and ensure they comply with legal requirements.

Responses should be completed within the required timescale, and organizations must provide clear and understandable explanations about why a request has been rejected or partially accepted.

5. Automate The Process

Organizations handling a high volume of DSARs should consider automating the process. This can help ensure requests are handled quickly and accurately, without any delay or errors.

Automation also allows for better tracking and record-keeping, which can be vital for compliance purposes. Moreover, it will liberate resources, enabling staff to concentrate on more significant tasks.

6. Know When To Decline A DSAR

In some cases, organizations may be able to reject or partially accept DSARs. However, they must provide clear and understandable reasons as to why the request has been declined or only partially accepted within the required timescale.

If a DSAR is not compliant with GDPR and other relevant regulations, it can be rejected if specific criteria are met.

To Wrap Up

By following the aforementioned steps, you will be able to manage DSARs properly, comply with data protection laws, and protect the privacy of your customers.

As long as you stay up-to-date with industry regulations and have a solid plan in place for responding effectively to these requests, you can ensure that your organization remains compliant with data protection regulations.

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Ella Marcotte

Jonathon Spire

Jonathon Spire

Tech Blogger at Jonathon Spire

My diverse background started with my computer science degree, and later progressed to building laptops and accessories. And now, for the last 7 years, I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant.

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Jonathon Spire

I blog about a range of tech topics.

For the last 7 years I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant, so I write about those the most.

Full transparency: I do review a lot of services and I try to do it as objectively as possible; I give honest feedback and only promote services I believe truly work (for which I may or may not receive a commission) – if you are a service owner and you think I have made a mistake then please let me know in the comments section.

– Jon