What Does A Data Protection Officer Do? 5 Main Things
Under the PDPA, organisations in Singapore are required to appoint at least one person as the data protection officer (DPO). But what does a data protection officer do exactly?
Before we get there, let us first have a quick refresher on the significance of having a data protection officer in the organisation. With a plateful of provisions under the PDPA plus the serious consequences in the wake of non-compliance, it’s only rational that a dedicated personnel handles the nitty-gritty of these PDPA provisions within the organisation. Apart from this, a DPO’s presence gives your business that competitive edge as full compliance leads to building trust among your various stakeholders.
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DPOs can either be an existing employee in your company or a third-party. In the event that the organisation has manpower or monetary constraints, outsourcing the DPO functions is the best route to take. However, the general DPO operation still falls on the management’s authority.
Another thing to note is that while the provisions do not set a minimum age requirement needed for a DPO to be appointed, it’s to your company’s advantage to appoint someone with considerable expertise and knowhow. This is to make sure that the company complies with PDPA at any given day.
The best DPO focuses on supporting your company’s growth, and ensures all the required provisions on data protection have been ticked off from the list. He or she also sees to it that the organisation – from management down to the employees – remain compliant with PDPA at all times.
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What does a data protection officer do?
A DPO has 5 main responsibilities, although there could be more:
- Seeing to it that the organisation achieves full compliance with the PDPA when building up and carrying out guidelines and provisions for managing personal data;
- Cultivating a data protection culture among the company personnel, and thoroughly conveying these personal data protection policies to stakeholders;
- Handling personal data protection-related enquiries and complaints;
- Notifying management of any risks that might potentially happen with regard to personal data; and
- Coordinating with the PDPC on data protection concern, if necessary.
Before going ahead and appointing a DPO that’s perfect for the role (whether it’s an employee or outsourced), companies must first evaluate their needs. This is because they need to work hand in hand with their DPO to achieve the best results.
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