Your business needs to appoint a data protection officer (DPO) if its core activities involve processing, being involved with the processing or systematic monitoring of sensitive data on a large scale to stay compliant and to protect your business when it comes to GDPR.
DPOs can act as your GDPR representative. They assist you and monitor internal compliance. They also inform and advise you on your data protection obligations and provide advice regarding Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs). Furthermore, they act as a point of contact for data subjects and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK.
1. DPOs guide your business through privacy regulations
Outsourcing DPO services has many benefits both externally and internally. One of the major benefits of DPOs is that they help guide your business through what can be complex privacy regulations.
These data protection officers can guide your business through proper resource management, legal, corporate structure and business planning so you stay GDPR compliant and protect your interests. They can also help with website content and structure, database design, IT infrastructure and cybersecurity, all in your best interests. They operate as a regulator, working on behalf of the interest of data subjects while also setting up a line of defence in the event of a breach for your benefit. And they work without any conflict of interest within your organisation.
2. They present your business’s privacy procedures to your customers, employees and stakeholders.
DPOs will deliver a structured presentation of your privacy procedures which include your terms and conditions, your website policies and forms, and your contacts with third parties and staff. In this way, DPOs demonstrate their compliance with GDPR regulations. This helps keep your business in good standing and shows your business takes the privacy and rights to individual data seriously.
3. Training of staff
Data protection is still a relatively new concept. It was only in 2018 that the EU’s groundbreaking GDPR rules came into full effect. The fact is many employees and even management teams are still unaware of the full extent of these regulations and how they impact business operations and businesses directly.
A DPO can help in the training of staff and rolling audits for further needs and the identification of new requirements. They’re act specialists within your organisation who are responsible for ensuring data protection understanding and discipline so that the chances of breaches in GDPR regulations are kept as close to nill as possible.
4. They take on the responsibility of responding to data breaches
Leading perfectly to the next reason why your business needs a DPO is how they’re able to take on the role of responding to data breaches. GDPR are incredibly stringent, and there’s a lot of training to do to get everyone within your business up-to-speed.
The GDPR states that it requires businesses to have thought about possible breaches before they happen. And you’re only given 72 hours to respond and report the breach to ICO, who act as the supervisory authority for ensuring compliance with the UK GDPR.
5. DPOs handle Subject Access Requests (SARs)
A DPO will be able to respond at the appropriate time to respond to Subject Access Requests (SARs). These requests must be dealt with professionally, politely and within 30 days in order to minimise any disruption to your daily business activities. The GDPR heavily prioritises individual rights to their data over that of businesses. And you cannot charge for the time spent in response. Having a DPO handle these matters saves you time, energy and means you can continue business while they properly handle these requests.
6. Implementation of technical resources for protection
DPOs can aid in protecting your business from cybercriminals. The same processes that keep your data private works for the protection of sensitive data you hold on customers, too. While IT staff also do this, they likely didn’t set up your security with privacy for corporate structure which aligns with GDPR regulations and helps to maximise protection sensitive data.
7. They report any protection vulnerabilities and risks
DPOs work with data protection as a top priority. A major function of their job is to report to senior management within a business as to any potential vulnerabilities and risks associated with the activities of the business in regard to data protection. They will articulate any data protection risks and provide advice on the best solutions for your customers while not interfering with regular business activities.
8. Appointing a DPO is all-round protection
The fact is, appointing a DPO is a good insurance policy. For one thing, if you do have insurance cover for data protection, the GDPR requires that you demonstrate your compliance with GDPR. This is something DPOs know all about and can help you with. And more important, as is what we’ve covered in this entire article, DPOs help protect you from having to make an insurance claim because their expertise help you avoid any missteps and keep sensitive data safe.
DPOs can be appointed internally, but many business opt for an outsourced DPO. Doing so cuts costs and lessens the chance of any interference within day-to-day business activities. Whatever the case, these data protection officers will continue to play an invaluable role for modern businesses today and far into the future.