We’ve been getting asked the question: What is a Data Protection Officer? This is a sign of just how much interest from organisations all across the European Union there currently is, and will continue to be, in this position.
What is a Data Protection Officer?
A Data Protection Officer is basically a compliance officer dealing with the data protection issues that an organisation faces. Their job is to protect the data an organisation processes.
There are a range of issues that fall under the sphere of data protection and all of these need your attention if you are a Data Protection Officer.
- The Data Protection Officer job requires you to be well aware of relevant laws and to raise awareness of those laws within the organisation.
- You must help the organisation with data protection compliance by formulating strategies, policies, and establishing practices.
- You must look into the risks that data processing can expose an organisation to and help the organisation in their attempts to avoid those risks.
But they should not be looked at as saviours in the organisations they work for. They do not have super-human abilities that help them make the impossible happen. They do their jobs by reporting directly to management and continually receiving all the necessary resources and support that the organisation can afford to give them, to carry out their functions. Organisations cannot make Data Protection Officers’ jobs harder by not respecting data protection laws and still expect them to come to the rescue or be liable when the organisations are in legal trouble.
They are not personally responsible.
The Article 29 Working Party Guidelines on Data Protection emphasise that Data Protection Officers “are not personally responsible in case of non-compliance with the GDPR,” and that they need all the help they can get to ensure their organisation’s compliance.
Actions you can take
- Answer the question “what is the GDPR,” and understand what it requires from your organisation by attending a GDPR workshop or sending us all your questions.
- Empower yourself to deliver on all the duties of the Data Protection Officer job with our help.
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