Data Protection Officers. It’s a topic that seems to be on everyone’s mind now that we actively start to prepare for the implementation of the GDPR, but who really needs them?
Anyone working with information security management is by this stage well aware of the upcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation. Come to think of it, even those not working with information security management have probably heard of it too, considering the amount of coverage it has gotten. It’s no wonder, really, given that the new regulation will be the biggest data protection regulation to date. Even though it is being set by the European Union, it will affect companies worldwide. This is because together, the 28 EU member states not only represent the world’s largest economy, but are the top trading partner for 80 countries. Effectively, this means that any country dealing with personal data from citizens of the European Union will need to comply with the GDPR.
Soon after the news about the GDPR broke, another abbreviation started popping up everywhere: DPO. Of course, a Data Protection Officer is not a new role per se, but with sudden focus on the legality of data protection, it only makes sense that we start focusing more on the their role. In fact, the International Association of Privacy Professionals originally estimated that the new data protection regulation would require 28,000 DPOs in Europe and the United States. They have now increased that number up to 75,000 new DPO positions, worldwide. 75,000 is a lot of positions to fill, which leads to the question: who needs a Data Protection Officer?