Digital risk

What is a Virtual Data Protection Officer?

What is a DPO?

The DPO’s role is to ensure compliance with the data protection laws that apply to the organisation, and it carries many responsibilities. The DPO: informs and advises the organisation’s staff regarding their legal obligations; monitors compliance with the law; manages staff awareness and training regarding data protection; acts as the contact point with the data protection authorities; is the point of contact for queries from individuals whose data is being processed; and manages the overall risk around the organisation’s processing of personal data.

Who can be a DPO?

There is presently no formal qualification requirement for a DPO, with the law instead stating that suitability is based on “professional qualities and, in particular, expert knowledge of data protection law and practices”. The organisation must also ensure that the DPO has sufficient time in his or her schedule, and appropriate access to staff at all levels, to carry out the necessary duties effectively and in a timely manner.

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Why would I outsource my DPO function?

Large organisations can normally justify the cost of employing and supporting an in-house DPO to deal with their data protection compliance requirements. Organisations that cannot justify the expense of a full-time role, on the other hand, can engage an external DPO on a part-time basis and focus their remaining resources on core business streams. In addition, an external DPO brings independent, unbiased reporting of data protection matters to senior management and to the Board. Our team specialises not only on privacy but also cyber risk and security governance which are integral part of the DPR role.

How we can help you

Our data protection specialists will work with you to:

  • understand the personal data you hold and process, and deal with the associated risks
  • register processing activities with the relevant data protection authorities
  • implement policies and procedures for effective operation of data protection practices
  • manage requests from data subjects
  • monitor compliance and change
  • report regularly to senior management
  • provide training and guidance to staff regarding data protection.