Skip to main content

What is a DSR portal?

In short, a DSR portal provides one, dedicated spot online 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, which is a privacy management software, 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.

This blog is about why you should use a DSR request portal, as well as how it can save your company time and money. Finally, we’ll talk about how to choose the right DSR request portal.

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. For this reason, a data request can be considered official and legally binding regardless of how it comes to you.

Indeed, keeping up with data requests and responding to them on time can be almost impossible. Especially when requests can show up in anyone’s inbox, DMs, voicemails, etc., at any time. Further, it is all too easy to miss or overlook requests, annoy your customers, and even get a fine. Instead of trying to manage requests manually, 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, in essence, makes the whole request process more efficient. 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.

Get our Newsletter!

In our newsletter you get tips and tricks for dealing with privacy management from our founder Sebastian Allerelli.

When you sign up for our newsletter you get a license for one user to ShareSimple, which will give you a secure email in Outlook. This special offer is for new customers only, with a limit of one freebie per company.

Benefits of a DSR portal

The exact cost of responding to a DSR will vary. It depends on the type of request, whether you have a large volume of data 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. To begin with, it takes time to verify a request. Then, you must review and gather all the data about a person. Finally, someone has to check it, organise 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, for example, to locate and extract data, encrypt or anonymise it. Then, you must have a way to send it securely to the data subject or a third party. Unfortunately, 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). But using a simple request portal is a great way to cut costs at every step of the process.

Start your GDPR cleanup where it is needed the most

Sensitive data can tends to accumulate in the employees' e-mails. With a GDPR Risk Scan from DataMapper, you get a report that shows any potential GDPR risks in the company's e-mails.

What makes a good DSR portal?

If you have a small or medium business, then 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.

Therefore, you should look for a good DSR portal that:

  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 fulfil 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.

Sebastian Allerelli
Founder & COO at Safe Online
Governance, Risk & Compliance Specialist
Follow me on LinkedIn to get tips on GDPR →


How to handle sensitive personal data


How to find personal data with datamapping tool


How to prepare for a data audit