The fact is that the role of a DPO is unclear, and there’s no specific definition for it. However, as just as the name implies, a DPO or a “Data Protection Officer” is responsible for the protection of user data and the issues relating to it. In other words, when there’s something to be discussed about the GDPR or the privacy of data, the DPO will be the key contact in this process.
There’s no doubt in the fact that becoming a DPO is quite a difficult task because there’s a lot on your plate that you will have to work on. For example, here are some of the main duties of a DPO that he has to perform in any case;
- Acting as a general advisor to all the people in business
- Liaising with the controller and monitoring compliance with GDPR
- Providing data privacy training and advising businesses on data privacy laws
- Conducting and advising the impact assessment of data protection in businesses
- Working as a point of contact for the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’). Not just for this but also acting as a point of contact for all those whose data is being protected
The point that we are trying to make here is that the role of a DPO is similar to the role of an auditor, and he has to manage things on his own, independently because there’s a lot that he is responsible for.
Do You Need A DPO?
There are specific categories that require a DPO under the GDPR. It’s compulsory;
- Where the public authority carries out the processing, for example, emergency services and councils and government departments.
- Where the main activities of the controller or the processor include the processing of operations, in this case, the controller has to monitor both the systematic and regular data subject on a larger scale.
- Where the core activities of a controller include processing data on a large scale, especially if the data is related to criminal convictions and offenses, then yes, a DPO is required here.
It’s not that you specifically have to fall into these three categories to hire a DPO. In fact, as per GDPR, it’s still the duty of all the controllers and processors to have proper skills and sufficient staff in order to meet the obligations in the best possible way.
Who Should Be Appointed As A DPO?
It’s the duty of the employers to consider who they should be making the DPO. It can be anyone, in fact, they can also choose from their existing employees, they can make a new appointment for a DPO, or they can just outsource this job to someone straight away.
As far as the qualification is concerned, well, there’s no such thing required for a DPO, but yes, you should hire the one who has some ground and stronghold on the data protection laws. Not just this, but he should also possess some good communication skills.
What Happens When You Don’t Appoint A DPO?
The fact is that if you don’t comply with what the GDPR has set for you, the consequences can be quite an eye watering. If you know that you are dealing with complex and critical data processing, then it’s obvious that you should appoint a DPO without giving it a second thought.
Now that you know everything about a Data Protection Officer. It’s time that you start looking for one, especially if you don’t want to face any consequences for your non-compliance with GDPR. Just hire a responsible person for this job, and things will fall into place for you.
Muhammad Shoaib is a freelance writer who offers blogging, ghostwriting and copywriting services. He works closely with businesses providing digital marketing solutions that increases brand awareness and search engine visibility. He’s currently writing a product reviews and buying guide on Reviewsbite.com