Who is responsible for ensuring GDPR compliance?

February 21, 2023

Who Is Responsible for Ensuring GDPR compliance?

Today consumers have more authority than ever, thanks to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The data protection law, which went into effect in 2018 and is enforced by the EU, compels businesses to publish clear, concise information about their data collection process and how they intend to use it. 

The GDPR protects consumers’ privacy rights by granting them the right to view and delete personal data. But who is in charge of enforcing them? Below are the four types of personnel responsible for ensuring GDPR compliance in organisations: 

Data Protection Officer (DPO)

The Data Protection Officer (DPO) is responsible for ensuring the privacy and security of the organisation’s data. This role is usually held by an internal senior executive but can also be performed by an external firm specialising in this area.

The DPO protects and manages all personal data collected by the organisation. This includes ensuring that all employees understand their responsibilities regarding the storage and processing of personal data, as well as ensuring a clear understanding of what constitutes personal data. 


The Controller processes all of the company’s data. This person reviews all user requests, ensuring they comply with GDPR guidelines and policies and handles violations arising from them.

A data controller is not usually a single entity. A shared controllership may occur at times, particularly when corporations manage data on a global scale. In this case, the company may employ central and regional controllers.


The processor is a person or legal organisation handling personal data on behalf of the controller. Processors are sometimes referred to as “third parties.” Their primary job is to ensure that the requirements outlined in the Data Processing Agreement are followed and that GDPR compliance is maintained on an ongoing basis.

Supervisor Authority (SA)

A Supervisor Authority (SA), also referred to as a Privacy Commissioner or Data Protection Authority, monitors GDPR compliance within the organisation. Their primary function is to advise firms on GDPR matters, resolve data subject complaints, perform audits and impose fines when companies fail to comply. 

Each EU member state has a designated SA. 

Ensure GDPR compliance, Avoid Fines

Non-compliance with the EU’s GDPR policy can result in hefty fines. Less serious violations can result in a €10 million penalty or 2% of a company’s annual sales from the previous fiscal year (whichever is greater). More significant offences can result in a €20 million penalty or 4% of a company’s annual sales from the previous year (whichever is greater).

Avoid such a costly mistake by engaging the services of data privacy consultants. At Data Privacy Services, we provide expert guidance, ensuring your company remains compliant from day one. Contact us today to book a consultation. 

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