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ISO 27701 (Information Security Standard)

Glossary Contents

ISO 27701 is an international standard that provides a framework for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving a Privacy Information Management System (PIMS). It is an extension of ISO 27001, a well-known standard for information security management systems, and is designed to help organisations manage privacy risks related to personally identifiable information (PII).

The standard was developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to meet the increasing global need for a systematic approach to privacy management. It is applicable to all types and sizes of organisations, including public and private companies, government entities, and not-for-profit organisations.

Overview of ISO 27701

ISO 27701 provides guidelines for the protection of privacy, including how organisations should manage personal data and provide assurances to stakeholders about their privacy practices. It outlines a comprehensive set of operational controls that can be mapped to various privacy principles and legal requirements, making it a valuable tool for demonstrating compliance with data protection laws and regulations.

The standard is based on a risk management approach and is designed to be compatible with other management system standards. It adopts the structure and requirements of ISO 27001 and includes additional specific requirements and guidance for PII controllers and PII processors.

Structure of ISO 27701

ISO 27701 follows the same high-level structure as other ISO management system standards, known as the Annex SL structure. This includes a set of common requirements for all management systems and specific requirements for privacy information management.

The standard is divided into several sections, each addressing a different aspect of privacy information management. These include the context of the organisation, leadership, planning, support, operation, performance evaluation, and improvement.

Benefits of ISO 27701

Implementing ISO 27701 can provide numerous benefits to an organisation. It can help to build trust with customers, stakeholders, and regulators by demonstrating a commitment to privacy and data protection. It can also provide a structured approach to managing privacy risks, reducing the potential for data breaches and the associated costs and reputational damage.

In addition, ISO 27701 can support compliance with data protection laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union. By providing a comprehensive set of operational controls, it can help organisations to demonstrate that they have implemented appropriate measures to protect personal data.

Implementation of ISO 27701

Implementing ISO 27701 involves a series of steps, starting with understanding the organisation's context and defining the scope of the PIMS. This includes identifying the needs and expectations of interested parties, the legal and regulatory requirements that the organisation must comply with, and the risks and opportunities related to privacy management.

Once the scope is defined, the organisation needs to establish a PIMS policy and set privacy objectives. It also needs to determine the processes needed to achieve these objectives, and to ensure that these processes are carried out under controlled conditions.

Roles and Responsibilities

One key aspect of implementing ISO 27701 is defining the roles and responsibilities for privacy management within the organisation. This includes appointing a person or team to oversee the PIMS and ensuring that all personnel understand their roles and responsibilities regarding privacy.

The standard also requires organisations to provide adequate resources for implementing and maintaining the PIMS and ensure that personnel are competent and aware of the importance of privacy protection.

Operational Controls

ISO 27701 includes a comprehensive set of operational controls that organisations should implement to manage privacy risks. These controls are divided into two categories: those that apply to all organisations and those that are specific to PII controllers and processors.

The controls cover a wide range of areas, including consent and choice, purpose legitimacy and specification, data minimisation, accuracy and quality, openness, transparency and notice, individual participation and access, accountability, information security, privacy incident response, and privacy by design and by default.

ISO 27701 and Data Privacy Laws

ISO 27701 can play a key role in helping organisations comply with data privacy laws and regulations. By providing a systematic approach to privacy management, it can help organisations demonstrate that they have implemented appropriate measures to protect personal data and provide evidence of compliance to regulators.

The standard includes a mapping to the principles of the GDPR, showing how the requirements of ISO 27701 align with the requirements of the regulation. This can be a valuable tool for organisations that need to demonstrate compliance with the GDPR.

GDPR Compliance

The GDPR is a comprehensive data protection law that applies to all organisations that process the personal data of individuals in the European Union. It requires organizations to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect personal data, and to demonstrate compliance with the regulation.

ISO 27701 can support GDPR compliance by providing a structured approach to privacy management and a comprehensive set of operational controls. By implementing the standard, organisations can demonstrate that they have a robust PIMS in place, and can provide evidence of compliance to regulators.

Other Data Privacy Laws

In addition to the GDPR, organisations may need to comply with many other data privacy laws and regulations worldwide. These include the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States, the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) in Singapore, and the Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados (LGPD) in Brazil.

ISO 27701 can support compliance with these laws and regulations by providing a systematic approach to privacy management and a comprehensive set of operational controls. By implementing the standard, organisations can demonstrate that they have a robust PIMS in place, and can provide evidence of compliance to regulators.

ISO 27701 Certification

Organisations can choose to become certified to ISO 27701 to demonstrate their commitment to privacy and data protection. The certification process involves an audit by an independent certification body, which verifies that the organisation's PIMS meets the standard's requirements.

Certification can provide a number of benefits, including increased trust from customers and stakeholders, improved risk management, and a competitive advantage in the marketplace. It can also support compliance with data protection laws and regulations, by providing evidence of the organisation's privacy practices.

Requirements for Certification

To achieve ISO 27701 certification, an organisation must demonstrate that it has implemented a PIMS that meets the standard's requirements. This includes establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving the PIMS and demonstrating that it is effective in managing privacy risks.

The organisation must also demonstrate that it has implemented the operational controls specified in the standard and that these controls are effective in achieving the organisation's privacy objectives.

Audit Process

The certification audit is conducted by an independent certification body and involves reviewing the organisation's PIMS and assessing its compliance with the standard's requirements. The audit process typically includes reviewing the organisation's documentation, interviewing key personnel, and conducting an on-site visit to verify that the PIMS is implemented and effective.

Once the audit is completed, the certification body will issue a certificate if the organisation's PIMS meets the requirements of the standard. The certificate is valid for a certain period of time, typically three years, after which a re-certification audit is required.

Conclusion

ISO 27701 is a valuable tool for organisations that need to manage privacy risks and comply with data protection laws and regulations. Providing a systematic approach to privacy management and a comprehensive set of operational controls can help organisations build trust with customers and stakeholders, improve risk management, and demonstrate compliance with legal requirements.

Whether an organisation chooses to become certified to ISO 27701 or simply uses the standard as a guide, implementing a PIMS based on ISO 27701 can provide numerous benefits and contribute to the organisation's overall success.

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