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What is a Data Protection Officer?

February 21, 2023

On January 1, 2018, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR went into effect. The GDPR is a legal framework governing the collection, processing and storage of personal information. These rules apply to individuals, companies and organizations based in EU member states as well as outside companies doing business with other companies or people in those member states. 

One of the stipulations of the GDPR was that each company must assign someone to ensure GDPR compliance. In some cases, especially with smaller businesses, that could be handled with in-house personnel. Most larger businesses, however, would need to hire a Data Protection Office. So what is a DPO and what do they do?

Defining the DPO

The GDPR made it necessary for most large UK companies, and many mid-sized ones, to hire a Data Protection Office to, in essence, serve as the protection of personal data. Following Brexit, many UK business owners thought they would be off the GDPR hook. Alas, Brexit did not negate the need for GDPR compliance as the UK adopted its own, slightly revised version of the GDPR that went into effect immediately upon the UK leaving the EU on January 31, 2020. 

What is a DPO?

A DPO is a person who ensures a business or organization processes data collected on customers, vendors, employees, prospective employees and others in a way that is GDPR compliant. The responsibilities of the DPO are as follows:

  • To ensure that everyone involved in personal data collection is aware of their rights.
  • To raise awareness of data protection rights, obligations and responsibilities.
  • To institute data processing operations that are GDPR compliant.
  • To notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of any operations that present risks.
  • To handle queries and complaints related to data collection and handling.
  • To cooperate with the ICO regarding complaints or investigations.
  • To bring data handling failures to the attention of the organization’s principles.

DPO as a Service

GDPR compliance is an ongoing task. Yet many companies either do not have qualified in-house personnel capable of discharging the responsibilities of the DPO, or they cannot afford to hire a full-time DPO. As a result, more and more companies are coming around to the wisdom of outsourcing their DPO responsibilities. 

Our DPO as a Service is the cost-effective way to ensure your business or organization remains fully compliant with your data collection responsibilities. To learn more contact Data Privacy Services today on 084 5835 7094. Or write to us at: info@dataprivacyservices.co.uk.

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