At OpenText, we are committed to our customers’ success and protecting their information. We recognize that this commitment isn’t just about the products and services we offer, but how we operate as an organization with respect to our own compliance.
OpenText welcomed the GDPR as an opportunity to review our information governance program, and ensure our internal processes, procedures, data systems and documentation were ready when GDPR came into force.
We have been helping our customers manage and protect their enterprise information assets since 1991. We are using the same technologies to support our own journey to GDPR readiness, with our own internal experts leading the way.
We would like to share the steps we've taken as well as initiatives in the works in our GDPR Program. These steps ensure success for both OpenText and our customers on this GDPR journey.
Pieter J.L. (Berry) Wittenberg
OpenText Global Data Protection Officer
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the new European Union data privacy legislation to modernize and reform the laws that address the handling of personal data of European Union residents. It represents the biggest overhaul of the world’s privacy rules in more than 20 years.
As the leader in Enterprise Information Management, OpenText takes information security and privacy very seriously. We have long maintained industry best practices to incorporate data protection and privacy in our day-to-day practices, as well as helping our customers implement our solutions and expertise to build strong compliance programs of their own.
OpenText has thoroughly analyzed GDPR requirements and their relevance to us as both a data controller and data processor. In response, OpenText has implemented an organization-wide GDPR compliance strategy intended to meet all requirements in the regulation, involving a cross-functional team of internal resources. We are proud to say our business already incorporated many of these requirements and principles prior to GDPR coming into effect. Like many organizations, we are using the GDPR as an opportunity to further strengthen our practices.
As a company that collects and processes the personal data of our customers, partners and employees, we have implemented key GDPR preparedness initiatives including:
Consent management – Consent standards have increased under the GDPR. However, OpenText has already been compliant with similar existing requirements inside data privacy regulations from other jurisdictions, including countries within Europe. Our Sales and Marketing organizations conducted a thorough review of their consent management practices and have brought them in line with the GDPR. This includes active opt-in to continue to receive communications from us as well as including privacy purpose statements when we collect personal info e.g. to share research papers.
As an existing or prospective customer, you have may have seen some of those changes in your interactions with our web pages, events invitations and emails. Pre-checked or implied opt-ins are insufficient—individuals must know to what they are consenting and that they may withdraw consent at any time. At OpenText, we strive to create personalized and delightful experiences for those who engage with us and maximize the value for customers at each interaction, at the same time balancing this objective with security, trust and respect.
Human Resources – The GDPR is not just about our customers. Although there are GDPR efforts focused on external data, the new regulation also extends to the personal data we hold regarding our job applicants and employees. Our Human Resources team has implemented and continues to work on several initiatives to comply with the GDPR including:
Records management – We are working to ensure our records management policy includes retention schedules that authorize disposition when customer information is inactive, outdated or no longer needed. This will support the data minimization principle and assist us to avoid retaining the personal data of our customers for a longer period than necessary.
Security – Data privacy and data security are two equally important parts of a comprehensive data protection strategy. While OpenText already follows information security and risk management industry best practices as defined by our ISO 27001:2013 global Information Security Management System (ISMS), we are aware of the new and increased security standards that GDPR introduces and will continue to evaluate and update our practices to ensure that they align with industry standards. Our ISMS provides continuous and rigorous risk management processes to help support the ongoing confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all information in the custody of OpenText.
It is important that we fulfill our commitments under the GDPR as a data processor to our customers, the data controllers, who are using a third-party like us to process personal data. Some of our key activities in this area are:
Rights of data subjects – GDPR gives individuals the right to access the data provided to and processed by the controller for purposes including deletion, rectification, transfer to another controller and objection to processing. The data we house on behalf of customers is owned by the customer, who is the data controller. Our customers also maintain the access control to their data, which means in the majority of cases, as data controller they can respond to and action requests from their data subjects. As a data processor, we do not respond directly to requests from data subjects. We continue to further enhance our processes and applications to better enable customers to respond to lawful requests from their data subjects.
Contractual commitments – We work with our customers to ensure that the GDPR obligations are included in the contractual commitments for our cloud services to the customers satisfaction, including the use and management of sub-processors, timely security support and breach notifications in accordance with the new requirements. Cloud services agreements include statements regarding how data is to be handled while we are custodians of the data and how it can be repatriated to the customer upon termination of services. We also reviewed our data processing agreements (DPA) to standardize the inclusion of GDPR requirements. OpenText has worked extensively with EU counsel to help ensure our agreements contain appropriate provisions for lawful personal data processing.
Cloud security – Enterprises trust OpenText to manage their business-critical applications and information, in large part due to our commitment and expertise in cloud security, privacy and compliance. All our cloud services have a baseline standard of privacy and security, with technical and organizational security controls governed by industry standard third parties and proven via independent attestations.
OpenText has certified all levels (data center, infrastructure, platform-application and service certifications may vary) to assure our customers of the security controls, processes, procedures and policies that we have in place. Further certifications will be gained over time either to extend coverage or to add certifications as required by the industry and our customers.
Our EIM products and services are certified with many industry and regional standards eg. HIPAA, FDA 21 CFR Part 11, FINRA. We will continue to evolve our controls as industry standards change. Some of the current cloud certifications are as follows:
Business Network – EasyLink
Documentum (DaaS) Cloud
Breach notification – Operationalizing incident management and meeting the 72-hour breach reporting window is, and will continue to be, a challenge for all organizations. The OpenText Global Information Security Team has a well-established Data Breach Response Process that spans from the time a suspected breach has occurred to post-incident response closure steps. OpenText data breach procedures are comprised of five steps: discovery, assessment, response, protection and recovery. It is in the “response” step where breach reporting requirements and timeframes are determined. OpenText has reviewed data breach notification laws in all regions in which we operate, including the requirements under the GDPR, and is committed to compliance.
Enterprise Information Management (EIM) technologies are key to an effective and sound privacy compliance and data protection strategy. As the leader in EIM, OpenText is committed to helping our customers along their journey to GDPR readiness and compliance. However, it is important to recognize that compliance is a shared responsibility. Regulatory compliance requires a combination of processes, policies, expertise, education and training as well as the right technology tools. We believe that the path to compliance requires a shared understanding and common culture around privacy.
How we help our customers prepare for the GDPR: