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Why Do We Need a Data Protection Officer?

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data protection officer dpo 1The years of debate finally led to the agreement between the negotiating parties: the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR) has been published last year in May and it is going to apply as of the end of May 2018. The purpose of this regulation is to harmonize data protection throughout the European Union and to provide people more protection in this modern digital era. In Europe, it was regular to have privacy professionals to guide compliance, but it was regulated by each Member State individually. GDPR, however, obligates the appointment of a Data Protection Officer (DPO) in some organizations.

So, the answer to the question: “Why does my organization need a Data Protection Officer?” is rather obvious: to comply with the GDPR. Managing data privacy calls for a professional who sees a company as a whole without being dependent from any sector of it. In a modern society even individuals are dependent on data, while business simply couldn’t exist without them. For that reason, it’s vital for any business to understand where their data are, how they are stored and who can access them.

But, there’s even more to that. Money, of course. If your organization fails at managing data, there’s a huge risk of getting a massive fine. In fact, according to some experts, the GDPR proposes fines because the most organization didn’t comply with previous legislation. Also, any organization suffering a data breach is going to be forced to declare it. So, in case it happens to your own company, you’ll be put in the spotlight, in a negative manner, which will undoubtedly lead to the loss of clients and customers. Luckily, appointing a Data Protection Officer is a way to avoid a fine and a damaged reputation. Obviously “better safe than sorry” can be literally applied in this case.

In case you realize your organization must (or it would be wise to) have a data protection officer, you can book them from the “German Association for Data Protection”. In fact, you can contact this association in case you have any doubts and questions regarding European Data Protection.