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What is a DSR portal?

An online DSR portal provides one, dedicated spot where people can make their Data Subject Requests (DSRs, or DSARs). This streamlines the process of receiving and handling data requests from customers, employees, partners, and others.

A DSR portal offers a secure and user-friendly interface that lets people submit data requests electronically. The portal may include forms or templates to guide data subjects in specifying the type of request they want to make. It also lets them provide the necessary details for identification and verification purposes.

First, let’s talk about why you should set up a DSR portal and how it can save your company time and money.  Then, we’ll briefly discuss how to choose one.

Why set up a DSR portal?

Generally, data regulations give people the right to make data requests, but without saying much about how or where they should send them to your company. This means a data request can be considered official and legally binding regardless of how it comes to you.

Keeping up with data requests and responding to them on time can be almost impossible when requests can show up in anyone’s inbox, DMs, voicemails, etc., at any time. It is all too easy to miss or overlook requests, annoy your customers, and even get a fine.

Instead, consider setting up a DSR portal. This gives you one, dedicated spot where people can make official data requests. It will keep requests from slipping through the cracks on your end and makes the whole request process more efficient. With a good request portal, it will be much easier and faster for you to keep up with all the requests you receive and respond to them on time.

The request submission process will also be much smoother for your customers. They will get clear guidance on how to make their request, along with forms prompting them to include all the details you need to verify their identity and respond to their request.

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Savings and benefits of a DSR portal

The exact cost of responding to a DSR will vary. It depends on the type of request, how much data you have about the person, and where you store it. On average, according to Gartner, handling a single DSAR can cost $1,400 and take two weeks or more.  Usually, the high cost of responding to data requests comes down to:

  • Staff time and resources. It takes time to verify a request, then review and gather all the data about a person. Finally, someone has to check it, organize it, and send it back to the requester. This adds up to an average of 30-40 hours of tedious work when done manually.
  • Technology and Tools. You may need special tools to locate and extract data, encrypt or anonymize it, then send it securely to the data subject or a third party. Most DSR tools on the market are designed for large enterprises and may be out of reach for SMBs.

In short, responding to data requests is expensive. Even so, the GDPR states that you should not charge requesters for this courtesy (with some rare exceptions). Using a simple request portal is a great way to cut costs at every step of the process.

What makes a good DSR portal?

If you have a small or medium business, you probably don’t need to develop your own portal or spend thousands a month on a fully automated enterprise-level DSR solution. However, you should look for some key features that all companies need to respond to data requests properly.

A good DSR portal:

  1. Is easy to use and easy to find on your website
  2. Displays your brand, reinforcing trust in your company
  3. Verifies requesters’ identities before accepting a request
  4. Tracks the status of requests and reminds you to fulfill them on time
  5. Helps you collect data for your response with forms, templates, and/or AI
  6. Transfers data securely with encryption back to verified requesters
  7. Documents everything to demonstrate your compliance

A DSR portal that does the above will save you time, money, and headaches.

How we can help

At Safe Online, we have developed RequestManager, a browser-based DSR portal to answer data access requests. RequestManager was specifically been designed for SMBs. Read more about RequestManager →

Sebastian Allerelli

Governance, Risk & Compliance Specialist
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