Data Protection Officer (DPO): An Ultimate Guide(2021)


The Data Protection Officer role is to guarantee that their association measures the personal data of its providers, clients, staff, or some other people in compliance with the appropriate data protection rules. European Union (EU) bodies and institutions have effectively needed to adjust to this necessity for quite some time. Since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies, a lot more associations should select a DPO or should seriously think about it in light of a legitimate concern for the association.

In this article let us look at:

  1. Definition of Data Protection Officer
  2. Data Protection Officer Responsibilities and Requirements
  3. Qualifications for Data Protection Officers
  4. Best Practices for Hiring A DPO

1. Definition of Data Protection Officer

The DPO guarantees, in an independent manner, that an association applies the laws ensuring individuals’ data. The tasks, position, and designation of a Data Protection Officer inside an association are described in Articles 37, 38, and 39 of the EU- GDPR. Numerous different nations require the appointment of a Data Protection Officer, and it is getting more predominant in privacy legislation.

As per the General Data Protection Regulation, the DPO will straightforwardly answer to the highest administration level. This doesn’t mean the Data Protection Officer must be straightforwardly managed at this level. Yet, they should have direct admittance to advising senior managers who are settling on decisions about personal data processing.

2. Data Protection Officer Responsibilities and Requirements

The DPO or Data Protection Officer is a required role for all organizations that process or collects European Union citizens’ personal data under Article 37 of General Data Protection Regulation. A DPO Officer is answerable for educating the organization and its workers about compliance, training staff associated with data processing, and directing ordinary security audits. DPO likewise serves as the point of contact between the supervisory authorities and the company that administers activities related to data.

As illustrated in Article 39 of General Data Protection Regulation, the Data Protection Officer requirements and responsibilities incorporate, but are not restricted to, the following:

  • Educating the organisation and workers on significant compliance necessities.
  • Training staff associated with the data processing.
  • Administering audits to guarantee compliance & address potential issues proactively.
  • Serving as the point of contact between the organisation and General Data Protection Regulation Supervisory Authorities.
  • Providing advice and monitoring performance on the effect of data protection efforts.
  • Keeping up thorough records of all data processing exercises led by the organisation, including the motivations behind all processing exercises, should be disclosed on demand.
  • Interfacing with data subjects to educate them about how their data is being utilised, their entitlement to have their data eradicated, and what estimates the organisation has set up to ensure their data.

3. Qualifications for Data Protection Officers

The DPO must be appointed only after considering the applicant’s ability, proficient qualities and expert knowledge to perform the role of DPO.

Most normally, Data Protection Officer is an IT proficient (Security) or a specialist with a legal background, but this isn’t the standard. Data Protection Officer should likewise be an individual who knows about the business and everyday tasks that an association conducts with an emphasis on data processing exercises.

GDPR Data Protection Officer doesn’t determine the specific DPO qualification, and there are no official certificates.

The Data Protection Officer should not bear all duty regarding the compliance process. Thusly, there should be a division of duties among the Data Protection Officer and other organizational units. If not, the DPO will confront the unthinkable test of directing every one of the organizations’ cycles.

4. Best Practices for Hiring A DPO

Since organizations that handle the data of European Union citizens are subject to General Data Protection Regulation regardless of whether they are not located in the European Union. It is anticipated that a huge number of DPO is required for all regulated associations to accomplish General Data Protection Regulation compliance.

The best DPO will have expertise in data protection law and total comprehension of their organization’s IT framework, technical, and technology and organizational structure. A current employee might be designated as the Data Protection Officer, or the DPO could be employed externally.

Organizations and companies should search for applicants that can manage data compliance and protection internally while announcing non-compliance to the legitimate supervisory authorities. The right Data Protection Officer will be both independent and reliable, with no earlier responsibilities that would interfere with monitoring the DPO role.

Preferably, a Data Protection Officer should have superb administration abilities and have the interface option effectively with interior staff at all levels and outside specialists.


The DPO or Data Protection Officer appointment is one of the critical necessities for organizations conducting business in the European Union. The General Data Protection Regulation is a significant piece of legislation. The Data Protection Officer is on the hook for ensuring an organization complies with the aims of the General Data Protection Regulation and other significant legislation.

This incorporates laying out how retained data is made anonymous, approving explicit work processes that permit data to be accessed, setting defendable retention periods for personal data and afterwards checking every one of these frameworks to guarantee they work to secure private client data.

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