ISACA CDPSE domain 3: Data lifecycle

September 22, 2021 by Graeme Messina

ISACA’s Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE) certification covers a wide range of privacy objectives and their relevance to real-world situations. The certification is a great option for cybersecurity and IT professionals looking to validate essential privacy-related skills.

There are three ISACA CDPSE domains in total. They are:

  1. Privacy governance
  2. Privacy architecture
  3. Data lifecycle 

We will be looking at domain 3 of the CDPSE exam and its relation to data lifecycle management and other ISACA CDPSE domains.

What is the data lifecycle?

The data lifecycle, also called the information lifecycle, represents how long your data exists within a system or an organization. This data can take many different forms depending on its current state, and it has different requirements at different points.

To properly operate in a business market, there needs to be an understanding of what the privacy requirements are as they relate to the data lifecycle. These privacy requirements include issues such as:

  • How is data transported?
  • How is data stored?
  • What data is stored?
  • Where is it stored?
  • How long is it stored?

Each of these points is vitally important for organizations that wish to comply with regulations and privacy laws. Most systems are subjected to both internal and third-party audits, so it’s important to adhere to the standards for each data type.

Domain 3 of the CDPSE exam focuses on how to analyze these privacy requirements, both within and outside the organization. This is crucial for privacy professionals tasked with keeping a company’s privacy requirements aligned with the regulations set for a specific market.

Depending on your role, you may also be required to create and manage privacy impact assessments (PIA) and other privacy-centered assessments of an organization’s data lifecycle practices.

Privacy considerations are one of the most pressing topics for modern businesses, most of which have an ever-increasing digital footprint. To effectively perform the duties required by the privacy regulations of a given market, you will need to take part in the development of privacy policies and data lifecycle procedures.

How do data purpose and data persistence affect privacy?

Each data type has its own intended uses. If you are collecting data, it must be collected for a specific purpose as laid out in the privacy and collection policies at the point of collection. 

Data persistence closely ties into privacy. This means that data can not be collected and stored indefinitely or discarded immediately. Instead, data has a storage requirement specific to each data type. Personal information like names, physical addresses, contact details and payment information all have their own regulations.

Issues such as “the right to be forgotten” need to be considered as part of data lifecycle management. If a user asks to remove their data from your system, it must be removed by following the guidelines laid out in those regulations.

To develop these types of systems, you need to collaborate with other practitioners. This will ensure that privacy programs and practices are followed during the design, development and implementation of systems, applications and infrastructure.

These skills are outlined in domain 3 of the CDPSE exam.

What’s covered in CDPSE domain 3 of the exam?

The primary material covered in domain 3 of the CDPSE exam relates to data lifecycle, data purpose and data persistence. All of these elements are important for modern businesses to avoid potential issues, including fines and penalties from the privacy bodies that govern both local and worldwide regulations.

As a data privacy professional, you should be able to handle the following tasks related to the data lifecycle:

  • Identify internal and external privacy requirements around an organization’s data lifecycle practices.
  • Coordinate and conduct assessments, such as privacy impact assessments (PIA), around data lifecycle best practices.
  • Help develop and implement data lifecycle procedures aligned with an organization’s privacy policies and business needs.
  • Collaborate with others to ensure that privacy programs and practices are followed across design, development and implementation of systems, applications and infrastructure.
  • Ensure privacy-by-design and data lifecycle principles and are supported by enterprise and information architecture.
  • Identify, validate and implement privacy and security controls according to data classification procedures.
  • Design, implement and monitor processes and procedures to ensure records of inventory and dataflow are current.


There is a lot of specialized privacy knowledge in the CDPSE test. You must understand everything from conducting PIA assessments to data lifecycle best practices. 

These skills will help you find a role where you will be responsible for maintaining and implementing privacy standards across the organization. This is crucial work, as it allows companies to achieve their business objectives without violating any regulations or stumbling into costly privacy issues.



Posted: September 22, 2021
Graeme Messina
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Graeme is an IT professional with a special interest in computer forensics and computer security. When not building networks and researching the latest developments in network security, he can be found writing technical articles and blog posts at InfoSec Resources and elsewhere.