Do You Need a Data Protection Officer?

21 July 2022
 Categories: Business, Blog


What's the most important asset used by your business? If someone asked you this question, you might think about some of the production machinery in your workshop or the new computer system you recently installed? You could even consider the vital role played by your employees in running and growing your business. However, the truth is that all of these will be replaced eventually. The most significant asset your company has is data. You will have records on past and present employees, customers, and suppliers. There will also be lots of internal communications connected with the day-to-day running of the company. In the past, this data would have been stored in bulging filing cabinets and could have taken up entire floors of your company offices. Today, it is likely that most of this data will be stored electronically, and that presents significant challenges.

How Safe Is Your Data?​

When data is in a paper format, it is easy to limit who has access to the information and how the data is used. When the same data is stored electronically, it can be much harder to keep track of what happens to data. If your company keeps a lot of data, you probably need to appoint a data protection officer to comply with GDPR. Even if you don't legally need a data protection officer, it is best to have someone with overall responsibility for data protection. They can keep your company legally compliant and ensure that you avoid can lawsuits or breaches of trust relating to your data use.

Who Can Be a Data Protection Officer?

There are no specific qualifications that a data protection officer must hold. You could appoint anyone within your company to the role, but that would not be wise. A data protection officer will need specific skills that are not always obvious. Hiring an unqualified officer could be potentially disastrous for your business. It is best to arrange for your preferred candidate to undergo certified data protection officer training before they assume their responsibilities. Receiving comprehensive training before they start the job is the best way to ensure that your company data is in good hands.

What’s Included in Data Protection Officer Training?​

Data protection officer training must involve learning what the law says about the data your company holds. Completing the training will also require the student to understand what is involved in coordinating data protection policy across all the departments in your business. They will look at the value of accurate record-keeping and what engagement there must be with the individuals whose data is held by your company.