As consumers continue to move more of their lives online, the need for robust data privacy practices has become increasingly important. With data breaches and privacy violations making headlines on a regular basis, people are understandably concerned about who has access to their personal information and how it’s being used. Fortunately, there are people like Daniel Barber, CEO and co-founder of DataGrail, who are dedicated to protecting consumer privacy.

Barber’s journey to founding DataGrail began in his early career, where he worked with data products and third-party apps. Over time, he became increasingly aware of the massive amounts of personal information being collected and used by companies, and he grew concerned about their ability to keep it safe. Believing that privacy is a human right, Barber set out to create a solution that would help companies better manage their privacy programs and build greater trust with their customers.

In the five years since DataGrail’s inception, the company has become a leading data privacy platform, helping many of the world’s largest companies effectively manage their privacy programs while reducing business risk. Some of DataGrail’s clients include Salesforce, Okta, Overstock, RH, and Dexcom. But it’s not just about providing a platform for data management; DataGrail is also home to one of the most active data privacy communities online, where people can come together to share best practices and insights.

Barber’s passion for privacy is evident in everything he does. In a recent interview, he said, “Privacy is a human right, and it’s something we need to protect. It’s not just a legal requirement or a compliance issue; it’s something that we should all be striving for.” His dedication to privacy has earned him recognition as a thought leader in the industry, and he’s frequently called upon to speak at conferences and events.

One of the key features of DataGrail’s platform is its ability to automate a person’s opt-out preferences, as well as orchestrate CCPA and GDPR data subject requests. But the platform is more than just a tool for data management; it also helps companies identify privacy risk, which is a proxy for overall business risk. With the DataGrail Privacy Dashboard, users have instant visibility into both the current and historic health and impact of a company’s privacy program, as well as actionable recommendations for improvement.

Barber recognizes that data privacy is an evolving space, and he’s committed to staying ahead of the curve. As new privacy laws and regulations are introduced, DataGrail is poised to help organizations tackle consumer data privacy demands. Barber is optimistic about the future, saying, “I think we’re going to see a lot more focus on privacy going forward, and I think companies that take it seriously are going to be the ones that succeed.”

DataGrail’s platform is designed to help businesses build better privacy norms, but Barber recognizes that it’s not just about the technology. “Privacy is a business problem,” he says. “It requires everyone in the company to understand the implications of privacy, regardless of who ‘owns’ privacy.” Strong communication across security, legal, marketing, and privacy teams is vital for building a robust privacy program.

For businesses that are just starting to build a privacy program, Barber recommends starting with data mapping. “The first step is understanding and getting control of your data,” he says. “Once you know where your data is, you can build privacy fulfillment and operations on top.” From there, businesses can automate elements of their data privacy program, like consent, do-not-share opt-outs, and data subject requests. And of course, it’s always helpful to have a partner who can offer ongoing support and guidance as the program grows and evolves.

Barber is also keenly aware of the challenges businesses face in managing privacy risks. Many companies have sought to comply with regulations like GDPR or CCPA, but compliance alone doesn’t guarantee that a business is fully eliminating risk. Barber emphasizes the importance of taking a risk-based approach to managing privacy and being transparent with customers to build trust.

One of the biggest challenges businesses face when it comes to privacy risk management is the sheer number of applications in use. According to Barber, many companies assume they have a handle on all the third-party SaaS apps they’re using, only to discover 50% more apps when conducting a data mapping exercise. It’s essential for businesses to have a comprehensive blueprint of their applications to effectively manage privacy risks.

But it’s not just about managing risks; Barber believes that companies should strive to build a culture of privacy that puts the needs of the end user first. “Always keep the needs of the end user top of mind,” he says. “What is in their best interest when you’re designing software? How could retaining certain data points impact them in the event of an attack or data leak?” By considering the needs of the end user and thinking about privacy implications from their point of view, businesses can build better privacy practices and reduce their vulnerability to data breaches and other risks.

Barber is optimistic about the future of data privacy, but he recognizes that there’s still much work to be done. As more privacy laws and regulations are introduced, businesses will need to be agile and adaptable to keep up. DataGrail is well-positioned to help organizations manage privacy risks and build better privacy programs, but Barber believes that it’s a team effort. “We’re all in this together,” he says. “It’s going to take everyone working together to protect consumer privacy and build a better, safer digital world.”

Barber’s dedication to privacy and his commitment to building a better future for data privacy have earned him recognition as a thought leader in the industry. He’s a frequent speaker at conferences and events, and his insights are widely respected. But despite his success, Barber remains humble and grounded, always striving to learn and grow.

For anyone looking to build a career in data privacy or tech, Barber has some advice: “Be passionate about what you’re doing. Understand the problem you’re trying to solve and be committed to solving it. And always be open to learning and growing.”

In an age where data privacy is more important than ever, it’s reassuring to know that there are people like Daniel Barber and companies like DataGrail working tirelessly to protect consumer privacy. With innovative solutions and a commitment to building better privacy norms, they’re helping to create a safer, more secure digital world for everyone.

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