08 May 2018

The impossible dream made real - Customer Test Data with no GDPR exposure

The European Union General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) was adopted by the EU in April 2016 and comes into effect in May 2018. It’s currently getting huge online coverage - with consultancies offering training and advice on how to avoid the eye-watering fines potentially incurred for non-compliance.

GDPR compliance is now a major concern in many areas of business - not only in the obvious areas of sales and marketing. but also the Enterprise IT community.

Why is this? Well, because the Regulation restricts the control and use of customer data by all organizations doing business inside or with any member state of the European Union. (Thus a post-Brexit UK and the US will not be absolved from compliance as long as they still do business with EU member states). In a systems development and release context, GDPR expressly forbids the use of real customer data for pre-release systems trials and testing.

This in turn presents a challenge for developers, testers and compliance officers – how to develop new releases of customer applications without real data to test them on? The software category of Test Data Management has been specifically developed to meet this requirement, and CA Technologies’ Test Data Manager™ is the category leader.

CA Technologies’ Test Data Manager™ meets the requirements of the EU GDPR by generating sample data with the same characteristics as real customer data, but with none of the original sensitive and protected values.

It does this in two main ways, generating fictitious new data spontaneously within specified parameters and also obfuscating real customer data using any of a number of industry-standard obfuscation techniques.

CA Test Data Manager™ ensures GDPR compliance by allowing organizations both to comply with the Regulation, and also to continue to create, maintain and provision the test data needed to rigorously test evolving applications.

Extra Technology has already successfully deployed CA Test Data Manager™ for many customers, and in the process rendered the developers and testers of their customer systems GDPR-compliant.

If you have concerns about GDPR compliance with your customer test data, we should talk.



Sean Davidson is Extra Technology’s Continuous Delivery Specialist, with responsibilities for Release Automation, Service Virtualisation and other DevOps technologies. Sean has worked for a number of global investment banks and hedge funds, and has extensive experience in software development and related technologies across multiple platforms.

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