Table of Contents Hide
The Data Protection Officer (DPO) is a critical player in the GDPR compliance of your company. Choosing the right profile is vital for the company to become privacy-friendly. Data protection must become a priority for the company and, even more so, a value creation factor. For this, you can rely on solutions such as Axeptio’s CMP. We will tell you about it. This is our product news of the day.
What is a Data Protection Officer, and why should you appoint one?
In France, for a long time, we had the CIL, the Correspondant Informatique et Libertés—a legal expert with an advisory function to accompany the compliance of his entity.
Since then, we have had the GDPR, and now we talk about the DPO or Data Protection Officer. The DPO is the critical reference for the GDPR compliance of the company. He does not take responsibility for the personal data exploitation activities but helps each management to conform to its treatments.
He, therefore, has a function :
- Advice to help the company fulfill its legal obligations ;
- Control to ensure that things are correctly done in practice. Beware! The DPO is neither the police nor an agent of the CNIL.
Appointing a Data Protection Officer may be mandatory in some instances:
- For public authorities (local authorities, public establishments, central government departments…) ;
- For companies whose activity consists of monitoring and exploiting data on a large scale. This includes all technology companies (GAFAM, telecommunication network operators, location-based advertising companies, etc.);
- For entities that process sensitive data on a large scale (hospitals, health data hosts…).
- In other cases, the designation is optional but recommended. Why is it recommended? The DPO is a facilitator, so it is a must-have for any entity that starts its GDPR compliance plan, a city hall, for example.
How to appoint a DPO, and what is his role?
Choosing the right DPO is a tricky question par excellence. Previously, we gave you advice on how to recruit the right profile.
Because that’s what’s at stake, Being a Data Protection Officer is not accessible. The success of the company’s GDPR compliance process depends on the ability of this person to act effectively. A miscasting has a real impact, and changing the profile is tricky.
The DPO has a vital role in the company:
- They become a stakeholder in the company’s digital transition process by striving to spread a culture of data protection and security. Awareness-raising actions, training of new employees, and e-learning… are a significant part of his missions;
- Through his action, he integrates the company’s security policy (PSSI): he ensures that DPIAs are carried out correctly when they are conducted; he audits the GDPR compliance of IT applications and data processing;
- They take part in the crisis units in charge of detecting and managing security incidents leading to personal data breaches;
- They interact with the other transversal departments in charge of ensuring the compliance of the company’s activities: legal department, compliance department, IT department… ;
- They are the data protection authority’s contact person and coordinate the company’s response to requests for observations, inspections, or sanction procedures.
Where to position your DPO?
The Data Protection Officer (DPO) is often attached to the Legal or Technical Department.
The most important thing is to have their role recognized within the company:
- They must be positioned at a hierarchical level that allows them to report their difficulties and the company’s compliance status to the management team.
- Their work must have support from the highest levels to become a priority for the company. This means they should have the necessary means to carry out their duties.
- Of course, the DPO must also ensure good collaboration with other departments and not be perceived as a source of constraints.
How can the DPO collaborate with other departments?
This is often the most significant challenge: understanding the importance of data protection so that GDPR compliance is integrated into the project, application, and feature design phase.
The Data Protection Officer cannot be everywhere. They will have to rely on the help of others. To do this, they will:
- Rely on other departments to carry out their specifications: the CISO for IT security verification, compliance, risk audit to minimize the risk of non-compliance, and CSR to evaluate and optimize the company’s carbon footprint.
- Deploy a network of Data Protection Relays that is, well-integrated business profiles in their departments that will efficiently coordinate the substantial compliance of treatments.
Today’s challenge is to show that GDPR compliance is not just a legal obligation. It is also a factor of differentiation and value creation. One way to achieve this is to rely on tools that reflect a true vision.
- Contributes to optimal site performance and UX quality management. It submits all non-essential cookies on the site to a prior consent principle. The deployment of a CMP is, therefore, an opportunity to remove obsolete tags or replace oversized or overly greedy tools about the need.
- It is a practical way to embody the values of a company. Ethics are not just a speech, as a company that installs this CMP shows full transparency on the cookies placed, their intended use, and the website’s technical operation.
- It helps the company improve continuously. A CMP displays the list of ingredients on the site. Therefore, it pushes you to improve by removing intrusive cookies and collecting fewer data.
- Enriches the user experience by offering a privacy management functionality. It is a natural response to the growing concern of users who demand more ethics, transparency, and control.
- It helps deepen the user relationship and take the turn of chosen marketing. How? Creating a solid first interaction from the moment a user visits the website. It encourages you to communicate better with your audience, exactly what your users are asking for.
Conclusion: Choose a multi-skilled DPO, business-oriented but with real ethics.
Entities have taken a step forward. When an appropriate profile was designated to show privacy concern is over.
Now, companies are required, beyond speeches, to demonstrate their ethics. The Data Protection Officer has become essential because they ensure the company complies with regulations designed to address user concerns.
Choosing the right multi-skilled profile adapted to the company’s operation is vital. But once appointed, their job should be made more accessible:
- Please give them a solid capacity to influence by showing high support from the management team.
- Please give them the means to act.
The DPO should not be seen as a hindrance or a police officer. Data protection must be considered a value-creating factor to be perceived as pro-business.
You can rely on dedicated solutions with an actual vision to achieve this. Axeptio is attracting a vast and constantly growing number of clients in France and worldwide.
Because a CMP is not just a technical tool for managing tags in source code, nor is it a legal solution for complying with the GDPR. It is a natural way to enrich the user experience. In other words, it is an essential, 100% compliant, and regulator-tested way to make GDPR a genuine marketing concern.