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Gartner: Most Companies Will Have Data on Assets They Don’t Own or Control By 2019

Analyst firm Gartner predicts that by 2019, 90 percent of organizations will have personal data on IT systems they don’t own or control – a change that necessitates the creation of policies that keep data under the organization’s thumb.

Analyst firm Gartner predicts that by 2019, 90 percent of organizations will have personal data on IT systems they don’t own or control – a change that necessitates the creation of policies that keep data under the organization’s thumb.

“As the amount of personal information increases multifold, individuals and their personal data will increasingly become a security target,” Carsten Casper, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement. “And, yet in most scenarios the organization is still ultimately accountable for the personal data on its IT systems. The time has come to create an exit strategy for the management of personal data.”

GartnerIn a new report, Casper notes that there are several steps organizations should take to prepare to implement such a strategy. For starters, organizations need to locate and implement the proper protections. There also needs to be clear delineations between personal and non-personal data – meaning a policy that separates data that relates to humans and data that does not. Personal data should be kept separate from other data, according to Gartner.

Companies should also use privacy standards that keep in mind the privacy laws and “cultural expectations” of various regions, and consider the logical location of data as opposed to simply the physical location of where data is stored, according to Gartner.

“Given that this information can be accessed from the other end of the world in a fraction of a second, the physical location should be increasingly irrelevant,” the firm noted in a press release. “Yet this physical location is still what many regulators insist on, although the legal location should be most relevant from a regulatory perspective.”

“As an example, personal data might be stored in a data center of a U.S. cloud provider, which is operated by a third-party service provider from India,” the firm continued. “However, data is encrypted, the Indian IT employees manage only routers and servers, and only European employees of the client can actually see the data. These employees are located in Europe, and bound by a European employment contract and European privacy laws. Logically, the data is in Europe, although legally and physically, it may be somewhere else.”

The report is available on Gartner’s website at

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