In response to rising demands from both government and consumers for more strict security, skilled data protection and privacy specialists are in high demand. In point of fact, firms who are required to comply with the GDPR are legally compelled to have data protection officers working for them full-time.
Hiring a data protection officer is one of the essential measures you can take to boost your data protection compliance effort. A DPO should have privacy domain experience and the operational skills to collaborate effectively with key stakeholders across the business to advocate for data protection policies, procedures, technical safeguards, and employee education programs.
To effectively carry out the responsibilities outlined in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a DPO will need a wide range of expertise, including both “soft” and “hard” abilities. For this reason, choosing a DPO is challenging. Candidates need to have the following abilities and experiences, ranging from technical to legal.
1. Knowledgeable in Legal Matters
For a DPO, this is the most fundamental ability they should have. A competent DPO will have an in-depth familiarity with these rules and keep tabs on any legislation changes that may impact the company. This demands a keen eye for detail and the ability to quickly analyze data to establish which processing category a given operation falls into and then advise the company accordingly.
A DPO consultancy ought to be knowledgeable about the law and, ideally, have some training in law. They should be proficient at writing policies and other legal documents.
2. Good Communication Skills
A DPO’s success depends on his ability to talk to and work with individuals from all walks of life. Cultural sensitivity can go a long way when dealing with people from other nations who may have different business customs and norms. They must be able to talk to ordinary people without talking down to them or using too much jargon. In their role as complaint handlers, they must strike a balance between being diplomatic and helpful.
A DPO will also have frequent interactions with higher-ups and other specialists, some of whom may lack specialized knowledge in privacy issues. A DPO needs to be authoritative and also able to instruct others. You can enroll in data protection training to improve your skills.
3. Well-Versed in Technology
A Data Protection Officer (DPO) is expected to have working knowledge of the IT systems on which processing is conducted. If you don’t know what causes breaches and how to stop them, you can’t give sound advice on dealing with them. They need to understand how new technologies work and what threats they may pose to data security or standard procedures.
A DPO’s general familiarity with risk reduction is helpful since they are often called upon to offer guidance during privacy impact assessments. As the sensitivity of the data increases, so too should the level of security employed.
A DPO candidate must be able to demonstrate that they have no conflicts of interest. If the head of the IT department were also the DPO, there would be a conflict of interest because the head of the IT department would evaluate their own department’s performance. GDPR services duties should be kept separate from those of other employees.
When interacting with regulatory bodies, a DPO should come across as credible. Consistently helpful cooperation may result in significant financial savings from reduced penalty assessments. Maintaining positive relations with authorities is essential.
Due to their unique function, DPOs are very independent. The GDPR requires a DPO to report to the highest management. They must have the authority and independence to handle any issues. They are not allowed to take direction from any other employee.
A DPO needs access to sufficient resources from their employer to do their job effectively. A DPO should be properly incorporated into the organization by management. If DPOs are to accomplish their jobs well, they must be included in ongoing initiatives and informed of upcoming deadlines.