Responsibilities of the EU GDPR Data Protection Officer (DPO)

May 13, 2020 Blog Article

The EU GDPR lays out guidelines for managing and safeguarding personal customer data. To help implement related tasks, the regulations created a new role: that of the data protection officer, or DPO. Here, we summarize the responsibilities of that role.

Vivian Cullipher Vivian is a career writer and editor, having covered technology-related topics for government and B2B organizations since before LinkedIn and the iPhone. As Blancco’s head of content, she oversees the development of thought-leadership-based copy for web, social media, and other Blancco communication channels.

What Is the GDPR?

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) protects private data in the European Economic Area and the European Union. These regulations also apply to the transfer of defined personal data outside of those areas. The aim of this data protection regulation is to unify the requirements across the EU and simplify the process of doing business internationally.

The GDPR provides guidelines for storing, processing, and protecting customers’ personal data. The position of data protection officer (DPO) designs and implement plans to achieve and maintain GDPR compliance within your organization.

What Types of Businesses and Organizations Need a Data Protection Officer?

The responsibilities of the EU GDPR data protection officer are many, but primarily, the DPO takes ownership of the organizations’ compliance with GDPR requirements. The requirement to have a DPO applies to organizations that:

What are the Responsibilities of a Data Protection Officer?

Articles 37 and 39 of the GDPR state that the DPO should be appointed on the basis of “professional qualities … and expert knowledge of data protection law and practices.”

The DPO is responsible for overseeing a company’s complete compliance with applicable data regulations.

This means that the data protection officer is responsible to create processes and fail-safes to protect customer data while in the organization’s possession, and during transfer if required. Scheduled and secure data destruction of private information as soon as the justified business need for it has been achieved is part of the guidelines.

Disk cleanup and IT asset wiping prior to equipment disposal are other best practices required to protect customer information. The DPO is also responsible for staff education, responding to regulatory requests, and reporting of data breaches within 72 hours.

Providing Your DPO with Resources for Compliance

There are penalties outlined in the GDPR for failing to appoint a DPO and for failure to comply with the regulations themselves. The data protection officer is intended to be a central point of contact and responsibility for compliance.

Of course, simply having a process and the expertise to manage a large scale data processing operation securely is not enough. Providing your DPO with compliant third-party solutions and partners will keep all parts of your data-handling within the GDPR guidelines

For more information on the responsibilities of the EU GDPR data protection officer, request our free white paper. To find out how Blancco can help a DPO shoulder that responsibility with certified data erasure, request your free enterprise trial.

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