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How SideDrawer helps with DSARs

In financial services, safeguarding data privacy and security standards are paramount. Financial advisors, wealth management firms and large institutions handle immense amounts of sensitive data, and regulatory bodies impose strict guidelines to ensure that this data is managed securely. One aspect of data management that often presents significant challenges is the process of responding to data subject access requests (DSAR) or requests to access personal information under the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (known as PIPEDA).


What are Data Subject Access Requests?

Generally speaking, a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR) is a request by an individual to access information about personal data that an organization has about them, about how this data is being processed, and the right, at reasonable intervals, to verify the lawfulness of the processing. They also have the right to ask the organizations o correct any on file that is incomplete or wrong. 


Every individual has the right to know and obtain information for the purposes of personal data processing.


What is the trend in DSARs?

Wealth, asset management, insurance and retail banking generate most of the DSAR requests within financial services firms. For businesses that receive DSARs, it can add significant administrative strain in processing these requests.


These requests can originate from various sources, including customers, regulatory authorities, or internal compliance teams. Ensuring a secure, seamless and efficient process for handling these requests is increasingly vital. Here, we explore how SideDrawer, a powerful document management platform, can simplify and make DSAR requests and responses more efficient, as well as considering the crucial aspect of transferring data ownership rights to customers.


Understanding the Challenge

 Data subject access requests entail providing specific data or documents to authorized individuals or entities. This could range from clients requesting their transaction history to regulatory bodies conducting audits. Without a streamlined system in place, managing these requests can be a time-consuming, error-prone, and resource-intensive task.


The SideDrawer Solution

 SideDrawer is a secure, cloud-based platform that offers an extensive array of features designed to simplify the data subject access request process Here’s how it helps:


1. Centralized Secure Document Collaboration and Repository

SideDrawer serves as a centralized secure platform for storing and exchanging sensitive data and documents between the organization and its clients. By utilizing the platform, the client’s collected information and documents in SideDrawer that contain personally identifiable information (PII), are readily available to the client, and easily shared with other vetted collaborators without having to duplicate or multiply copies across the organization, adding risk. The SideDrawer vault securely stores customer data, transaction history, compliance documents, and more, in one easily accessible location - and simple-to-learn platform. This eliminates the need to search and aggregate the documents collected throughout the organization - which is often scattered across emails, attachments, and stored in various storage devices accessible by multiple users within the organization.


2. Granular Access Control

One of SideDrawer’s key features is its granular access control. Organizations can assign specific access rights to individuals or teams, automatically through existing role-based access controls (RBAC), ensuring that only authorized personnel can retrieve the clients’ sensitive data. This feature helps organizations meet and exceed the strictest regulatory requirements and significantly enhances data security.


3. Audit Trails and Reporting

SideDrawer maintains comprehensive audit trails of all document activities. This feature is invaluable for compliance purposes, as it allows organizations to demonstrate transparency and accountability to regulatory bodies. Detailed reports can be generated, showing who accessed what information and when.


4. Workflow Automation

The platform enables the automation of data submission access request workflows. This means that when a request is initiated, SideDrawer can be the host of the data and documents collected by other DSAR platforms.


5. Secure Communication

SideDrawer offers secure communication channels for interactions related to data subject access requests. When responding to DSARs, using non-secure channels to deliver client data significantly increases cyber risk. Secure communication ensures that sensitive information is not compromised during the request and provision process.


6. Data Ownership Rights

Transferring data ownership rights to clients is a critical aspect of modern data management. With SideDrawer, data ownership is a fundamental aspect of the platform, allowing organizations to transfer vault ownership, commonly done for short-term transactional uses. Clients can then access and manage their data, providing them with greater control and transparency over their sensitive information.


7. Scalability

Organizations can scale their usage of SideDrawer according to their needs. Whether it’s an independent advisor or a large bank, SideDrawer can adapt to accommodate their specific requirements.


Benefits of SideDrawer

Implementing SideDrawer for managing data subject access requests, along with transferring data ownership rights to clients, offers several compelling benefits:

 1.    Enhanced Compliance: Organizations can ensure they meet all regulatory requirements related to data access, privacy, and data ownership when using SideDrawer.

2.    Efficiency: Streamlined workflows reduce the time and effort required to process access requests.

3.    Security: Stringent access controls and encryption measures protect sensitive data from unauthorized access.

4.    Transparency: Detailed audit trails and reporting capabilities help organizations maintain transparency and accountability.

5.    Customer Empowerment: Transferring data ownership rights to clients fosters trust and provides individuals with greater control over their financial data.

6.    Customer Satisfaction: Faster response times to customer requests, coupled with data ownership, improve overall customer satisfaction.



In the world of financial services, where data privacy and regulatory compliance are paramount, SideDrawer emerges as a valuable asset. Its ability to centralize documents, enforce strict access controls, automate workflows, and maintain audit trails, make it a game-changer for helping to manage data subject access requests. Moreover, by facilitating the transfer of data ownership rights to clients, organizations can empower individuals to maintain greater control over their data, fostering trust and transparency. By adopting SideDrawer, organizations can not only streamline their operations but also ensure they are well-prepared to meet the evolving demands of data privacy regulations in the digital age. Please note, it is unlikely that information/data that an organization has on an individual will ALL be in SideDrawer given the multiple systems typically employed.