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What is the Role of the DPO?

A DPO, or Data Protection Officer, is an enterprise data privacy and protection leadership role required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). According to the GDPR, a DPO is mandated for any company that processes or stores large amounts of personal data, whether for employees, individuals outside the organization, or both.

Here are some of the primary responsibilities of a DPO:

1. Inform and advise:

The DPO must inform and advise to Senior Management and company’s employees about their liability and obligations for complying with the GDPR and other data protection laws.

2. Monitor compliance:

The DPO is responsible for ensuring and monitoring compliance with the GDPR and other data protection laws. This includes overseeing internal data protection activities, advising to Senior Management on the company’s data privacy maturity level, conducting data mapping and data protection impact assessments (DPIA’s), conducting data privacy and protection awareness training staff, and conducting periodical data privacy internal audits.

3. Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA):

When organizations engage in high-risk processing, the DPO is tasked with conducting a DPIA.

4. Act as a contact point:

The DPO serves as the contact point for the data protection authority and for individuals whose data is processed (employees, customers, etc.).

5. Risk level assessment:

The DPO needs to understand and articulate the risk data processing activities pose to the data subjects, with the aim of ensuring necessary measures are in place to protect the data.

6. Record keeping:

They must maintain a comprehensive record of all data processing activities conducted by the organization, including the purpose of all processing activities, which must be made public on request.

Remember that the DPO must have the necessary expertise and management support (in terms of authority) to carry out their role effectively. They should report to the highest management level of the organization, and they should not be penalized or dismissed for performing their tasks.

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