Home General Who is Liable for Ensuring GDPR Compliance Within a Company?

Who is Liable for Ensuring GDPR Compliance Within a Company?

by Olufisayo
GDPR Compliance

When General Protection Data Processing (GDPR) was implemented in May of 2018, businesses, organizations, and marketers of all kinds had to learn about how they were to be affected by the changes. Part of the transition meant finding liable sources for ensuring GDPR compliance. And today, over four years on, the stringent nature of GDPR continues to prove a challenge for many companies to keep on top of.

It’s important businesses of all sizes who deal in processing individuals’ data have the right people ensuring they remain GDPR compliant. Not doing so properly can lead to heavy repercussions. Thankfully, there is more than one individual who oversees GDPR compliance within a company. This monumental task is spread through four major roles.

These four role types are responsible for keeping your organization meeting GDPR regulations. Professional DPO (Data Protection Officer) services are able to help clarify these roles and help make sure businesses are GDPR compliant. But before we delve into these four roles in detail, we’ll first look at what GDPR is, why it’s important to know, and what the risks are for violation of the regulations.

What is GDPR and why is compliance important?

The introduction of GDPR shook up companies both large and small who deal in data processing. GDPR is a digital privacy regulation formed for the rights of the individual. Part of the thinking for its genesis came from the revelations of data harvesting by big companies and how it was being used for sometimes draconian means.

GDPR regulations mean companies are required to build privacy settings into their websites, digital products, and any marketing tools which collect, store, and use data. The regulations also mean that companies cannot simply harvest data by force but require consent. It also means only necessary information can be collected and stored. And companies of all shapes and sizes who deal in any type of data processing must give full access and rights to termination of individual data storage.

In essence, GDPR puts the individual above companies. For these reasons and more, many companies choose to use DPO services to help them understand and stay compliant. They can conduct the privacy impact assessments necessary and strengthen their security and tighten how they seek permission to use personal data. They also help with the documentation of necessary records.

Not being GDPR compliant can cause massive damage for companies who don’t align themselves or who suffer data breaches that make personal data susceptible to loss and damage. These can include massive fines or loss in global revenue. Companies need to make sure they have the right people taking responsibility and keeping them up-to-date for full GDPR compliance.

The four types of personnel responsible for GDPR compliance.

1.   Data Protection Officer.

The Data Protection Officer (DPO) leadership role is required by the EU GDPR. It’s a necessary role for companies that process the personal data of EU companies. DPOs are responsible for their data protection strategy, approach, and implementation of proper protocol for full compliance with GDPR.

DPOs have the most responsibility to ensure GDPR compliance. They’re also in charge of advising employees on the right measures to ensure the protection of individuals’ data. While a current employee can be assigned the role of DPO, the job requires fervent knowledge of GDPR. For this reason, many companies seek the counsel of professional DPO services. Many also choose to use outsourced DPOs. This means the DPO doesn’t have to be physically present. They can deploy their role from elsewhere. This helps to lessen the impact they may have on day-to-day business to help things continue to run smoothly without interruption.

2.   Controller.

This role is a person or legal entity that decides the means by which data is processed. They may be a single entity of a part of a joint controllership. They give feedback for a company’s GDPR practices and explain how compliance is maintained to data subjects and the Supervisory Authority when necessary.

3.   Processor.

These can be individuals or legal entities who process personal data on behalf of the controller. They’re sometimes referred to as a ‘third-party’. They’re responsible for verification that the conditions outlined in the Data Processing Agreement signed by the controller are met and that GDPR compliance is maintained.

4.   Supervisory authority.

A supervisory authority (SA) is a public authority seated in an EU nation responsible for monitoring the compliance of GDPR practices. These are sometimes referred to as a Privacy Commissioner or Data Protection Authority.

An SA’s main responsibility is to advise companies about GDPR. They also conduct audits, address data issues, and issue fines when companies do not comply. There is an SA appointed for each EU member state.

These four roles are liable for ensuring GDPR compliance within a company. Together they act on behalf of companies to keep them aligned and secure in the delicate nature of data processing.

Photo by Pixabay

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