GDPR shall mainstream graphs and semantics

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes to effect in less than 90 days and aims to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe. With 11 chapters, 99 articles and 187 recitals, the regulation impacts the complete operational infrastructure of any enterprise deemed as data controller or processor.

The detailed impact and corresponding consulting, product or platform solutions abound and are not the focus of this article. Instead it aims to highlight some overarching observations that such regulation implies, irrespective of where your firm is in its journey to GDPR compliance and what solutions are being adopted.

  • Fulfilling the GDPR rules is not easy (duh!) particularly in heterogeneous data landscape siloed not only by business function or technology.
  • GDPR is not only about data, it is also about processing purposes, systems, legal environment and responsible actors. This implies a need for living map of metadata, processes, actors, locations, applications and their inter-relationships.
  • GDPR also moves the control of data, its purpose and legal basis from being solely data controller discretion towards the data subject and that implies new relationships including consent, objection, portability need to be managed
  • Just documenting data flows, catalogs will not be enough (although may be starting point) and such relationship maps will needs to be machine understood and query-able to allow construction of data subject centric view across infrastructure (similar to the customer 360).
  • For organizations to remain agile and flexible, the GDPR implementation must be minimally invasive and seamlessly evolve with the organization’s business.

A key component of any GDPR solution has to be semantic model that helps identify, link the data subject to its data instance across applications, processes, locations and an ability to search, govern and traverse such relationship graphs.

Infact GDPR is a perfect use-case to introduce semantic and graph approach to your data governance and/or data lake implementations and to start building your enterprise knowledge graphs !!

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