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Determann’s Field Guide to Data Privacy Law

International Corporate Compliance, Third Edition

Lothar Determann

Companies, lawyers, privacy officers and marketing and IT professionals are increasingly facing privacy issues. While information is freely available, it can be difficult to grasp a problem quickly, without getting lost in details and advocacy. This is where Determann’s Field Guide to Data Privacy Law comes into its own – identifying key issues and providing concise practical guidance for an increasingly complex field shaped by rapid change in international laws, technology and society.
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Chapter 3: Drafting documentation

International Corporate Compliance, Third Edition

Lothar Determann


Before you set out to create documentation relating to privacy law compliance and you put pen to paper, consider two threshold questions:

After answering these two threshold questions, you can proceed to preparing an outline and consider the next two questions:

In this Chapter, you will find suggestions on how to answer these threshold questions, suggestions regarding documentation that companies tend to need and not need, as well as guidance and considerations regarding the drafting of documents.


As a general matter, businesses prefer to create less rather than more documentation for a number of reasons: it takes resources to prepare, review, follow and maintain documentation. Published documentation can limit what a company may do with personal data. Plaintiffs and regulators may exploit any failures to comply with promises and representations in written documentation.


Companies create data privacy-related documentation primarily for three reasons: laws, market demands and organizational necessities. More specifically:

Sometimes, it can be possible and most effective to pursue more than one of these three objectives within the same document. But, usually it is best to create separate documents for each purpose and it is always important to determine and focus on your particular objective(s):


Legal purposes. If you are trying to satisfy a particular legal requirement, you should first carefully analyze the source, applicability and elements of the legal requirement. For example, California law requires that...

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