All You Need to Know About a Data Protection Officer

All You Need to Know About a Data Protection Officer

What is a Data Protection Officer (DPO) and why do I need one?

Set forth by the European Parliament, the European Council, and the European Commission to strengthen and streamline data protection for European Union citizens,the GDPR calls for the mandatory appointment of a Data Protection Officer (DPO) for any organization that processes or stores large amounts of personal data, whether for employees, individuals outside the organization, or both.


 DPOs must be “appointed for all public authorities, and where the core activities of the controller or the processor involve ‘regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale’ or where the entity conducts large-scale processing of ‘special categories of personal data,’” like that which details race or ethnicity or religious beliefs. The Data Protection Officer (DPO) is an enterprise security leadership role required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Data protection officers are responsible for overseeing data protection strategy and implementation to ensure compliance with GDPR requirements.

When do I need a Data Protection Officer under the GDPR?

You need a Data Protection Officer in the following cases:

  • The processing (of personal data) is done by public authorities or a public body, with an exception for courts and independent judicial authorities.
  • The processing is done by processors who regularly and systematically observe ‘data subjects’ (EU residents) on a large scale.
  • The processing involves specific ‘special’ data categories (which are defined in the GDPR), again on a large scale, as processing these special types of personal data is part of your core business.

What exactly does a Data Protection Officer do?

The responsibilities of a DPO include:

  • Training management and staff (including possible outsourced data entry staff) on data protection regulation requirements.
  • Assessing compliance requirements adherence and addressing infractions.
  • Serving as a contact to GDPR supervisors.
  • Tracking performance and advising on likely results of data protection measures.
  • Maintaining records of data protection efforts and the reasons they were implemented, in case of public request.
  • Informing data subjects about how their data is being used, protection measures safeguarding their data and their right to be forgotten.

Now that I know I need a DPO, where do I go for help?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) allows organizations to outsource the role of a Data Protection Officer (DPO). OculusIT’s DPO as a Service makes it possible for your organization to outsource the role of a DPO. The outsourced DPO performs the tasks described in the GDPR Articles 37 & 39 allowing you to reach the desired compliance level. We have a team of experienced security professionals certified in data protection compliance that will work with your staff to ensure compliance at all times. Some of the benefits of outsourcing your DPO function include:

  • Engage an experienced team of security specialists with a wide-range of expertise in data protection activities in various fields
  • Flexibly outsource data protection related activities and focus on your core business
  • Improve the level of GDPR compliance
  • Mitigate the risk of a conflict of interest of the DPO
  • Ownership and structure to privacy & data protection activities

Scott brings more than 30 years of higher education experience as an innovative technology professional in managing and executing high-level IT and business systems implementations. As the Vice President of Client Engagement at OculusIT, Scott demonstrates excellence in developing multi-level account relationships that facilitate the execution of end state visions.

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