Role of Data Protection Officer (DPO) in GDPR EU

admin | April 5th, 2018 | GDPR

Data Protection Officer

The Role of DPO (Data Protection Officer) Under GDPR

The DPO (Data Protection Officer) is responsible for an organization’s data protection compliance. Enterprises need to adopt a DPO under the European Union’s General Data protection Regulation (GDPR) and is mandatory under these situations:

  • The enterprise is a public body or authority
  • If the data processing operation is to be carried out in a large scale with continuous and systematic data monitoring
  • When there is large-scale data processing in certain categories like sensitive data pertaining to health, religion, race, finance etc or personal data regarding criminal offences and convictions

As a matter of fact, even small and medium-sized enterprises are not exempt from appointing a DPO. The regulation for each EU country will specify the circumstances under which a DPO has to be appointed. Even if the enterprises appoints a DPO of their own accord, they still have to take care regarding the DPO necessities in the GDPR.

Tasks of A DPO (Data Protection Officer) With Regard To GDPR Compliance

  • The employees of the enterprise will be informed and updated about the data protection obligations in the GDPR
  • To inspect the internal data protection policies and procedures with regard to the GDPR compliance
  • Adequate training and awareness in staff pertaining to the operation processes and related audits and monitoring the assigning of responsibilities are the tasks required by the DPO
  • Give an opinion on the data protection impact assessments (DPIAs) and advise the enterprise on the manner in which it is to be implemented.
  • Report to the data protection authorities for all the protection issues and data breaches
  • The DPO may be internally employed or may be under a service contract, but he has to be given all the necessary resources to perform his duties.

Qualifications of The DPO (Data Protection Officer)

  • Expertise in building, implementing and managing data protection processes
  • In-depth knowledge of European Union data protection laws and GDPR
  • Must be familiar with the enterprise technical and organizational infrastructure
  • Has to have sound knowledge of IT and security related to it
  • Has to have knowledge of the administrative rules and processes if appointed to a public authority or body

Working of DPO In An Enterprise

The GDPR states that there should be no interference from the enterprise or its employees when DPO carries out his task. So, any organization cannot dictate what result should be achieved or how a complaint should be investigated. The enterprises need not teach the DPO about the interpretation of data protection law. The enterprises have to ensure that there is no conflict of interests when the DPO is doing his duties. There might be cases when the senior positions in an enterprise conflict with the duties of the DPO. But, the DPO cannot be fined or dismissed if he performs their tasks. The DPO has to report directly to the higher managers in the enterprise and that has to be taken care of by them.

Accountability of the DPO (Data Protection Officer)

Any non-compliance of GDPR by the enterprise will not make the DPO individually liable. The task of the DPO is to monitor the GDPR compliance of the enterprise. If organizations are not interested in heeding to the advice of the DPO, then they are free to do so, but they must submit in writing the reasons for not following the advice.

GDPR Non-Compliance Fines

The incidence of non-compliance of EU GDPR might lead to fines for an enterprise even up to €10 million or may be 2 percent of the global turnover, whichever of these may be greater.

Key Factors For GDPR Compliance

So, Data Protection Officer has an important role to play in GDPR EU. The enterprises should assess if they require the services of a DPO to achieve GDPR EU compliance. The GDPR gives enterprises full freedom to choose either an internal or external DPO. Whatever the decision, enterprises need to have adequate security solutions in place to achieve GDPR compliance and this is also possible through efficient CASB solutions.