Only 23% of IT Decision Makers Very Confident in the Privacy of their Personal Data: New ZL Technologies Study on the State of Employee Data Privacy

Findings from ZL Technologies and Osterman Research study highlight major obstacles and uncertainties in the management of employee personal data and GDPR compliance

Milpitas, California, UNITED STATES

MILPITAS, Calif., Dec. 05, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ZL Technologies, Inc., a leader in unified governance, eDiscovery, regulatory compliance, and analytics for large enterprises, today released the findings of a major study on data privacy conducted by Osterman Research. The study surveyed 258 IT decision makers and influencers at American organizations of 2,000 employees or more, all of who were familiar with their organization’s data protection policies. The survey asked questions concerned with the processing and management of employee and employee-created personal data, with an emphasis on data privacy and compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The findings indicated that a majority of large organizations process several types of employee-created personal data for analytics purposes, including email, files, HR records, and web browser usage, and within these organizations there exists widespread concern among employees about the privacy of this data. There was generally a lack of effective policies and technologies in place to adequately manage personal data, although organizations with EU customers were more likely to be able to do so.

A key finding of the study, only 23% of IT decision makers and influencers were “very confident” their own personal data privacy was properly managed. Though the majority were “reasonably confident,” over 20% were “only somewhat confident” or less. That a group with inside knowledge of organizational data management practices would lack full confidence in their own data privacy may point to underlying issues in the state of data management.

Other notable findings included:

  • 73% of organizations have analytics initiatives in place that process employee personal data
  • 60% of organizations had unmanaged personal data in their file shares and other collaboration spaces
  • Only 19% of respondents were “very confident” that their organization could identify and remediate data on a given employee in order to comply with GDPR
  • 65% of organizations had employees who had expressed concern that personal data created on their devices might be processed for business purposes

“Most organizations operate today with large volumes of unmanaged personal data across the organization, data that they cannot easily locate or process for compliance or other purposes,” said Michael Osterman, President, Osterman Research Inc. “This puts them at risk on a number of levels, from losing employee confidence in how their data is managed to the potentially more serious issue of non-compliance with key regulations, such as the GDPR. To mitigate these risks, decision makers need to understand the risks they face and implement the appropriate processes and technologies that will enable them to manage employees’ personal data much more effectively.”

Organizational concerns around complying with the globally enforceable GDPR have recently energized personal data privacy initiatives in large enterprises. Often overlooked, however, are issues surrounding employee personal data, which could potentially cause massive fines when GDPR goes into effect this May.

“In the US, we have not been sensitized to protecting the privacy of personal data,” said Kon Leong, CEO, ZL Tech. “Only now with GDPR on the horizon are organizations beginning to take note of this vital issue. As analytics and information technologies both make major strides and as new regulations push boundaries, it’s crucial that we rethink how we handle privacy going forward.”

Please click here to find the full research report or learn more about ZL Tech’s innovative approach to managing personal data for GDPR compliance.

About ZL Technologies, Inc.

ZL Technologies’ centralized information governance platform enables organizations to manage all enterprise content and satisfy corporate needs for file analysis, eDiscovery, records management, regulatory compliance, and analytics. ZL UA's unique differentiator is its unified architecture which consolidates all applications and billions of documents under one platform, thus eliminating today's fractured data silos which significantly raise operating costs, increase legal risk, and derail analytics initiatives. Demonstrating a proven track record with Global 500 customers, ZL Tech has emerged as a technology leader in harnessing big data for strategic advantage. For more information, please visit

About Osterman Research, Inc.

Osterman Research helps vendors, IT departments and other organizations make better decisions through the acquisition and application of relevant, accurate and timely data on markets, market trends, products and technologies. Among the things that make Osterman Research unique is our market research panel: a large and growing group of IT professionals and end-users around the world with whom we conduct our research surveys. We are continually developing our panel of IT professionals and end-users into one of the leading sources of information for companies that offer products and services in the IT space.

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