IT Terminology That DPOs Must Know
Cybersecurity and compliance jobs are in high demand in the IT industry, and that number is only going to grow as the skills gap is still a reality for employers. One of those increasingly sought-after jobs is the role of a Data Protection Officer (DPO).
What is a DPO?
When the EU voted for the General Data Protection Regulation in 2018, they anticipated that large organizations would need an internal champion who could drive initiatives to meet and continually drive regulation compliance. Hence, the EU Commission specified a new leadership position – that of Data Protection Officer, a.k.a. DPO. A DPO has many responsibilities, and even though it is not a mandatory role for all businesses, the role helps companies effectively identify and coordinate the tasks that must be carried out to protect personal data.
Since the role is relatively new for many businesses, it’s helpful to know how you can cement a successful career in this position.
Understand Your Objectives
Promoting data protection/privacy awareness and improving the governance of data processing activities are priorities for Data Protection Officers. As a DPO, you must conduct awareness campaigns, conduct formal staff training sessions, and frequently update senior executives in a top-down approach. Apart from that, you’ll also need to respond to data subject requests and oversee consent management.
Depending on how long you’ve been on the job and the maturity of the data protection program in your organization, other duties include:
- Create data protection awareness among other employees.
- Focus on enhancing data governance processes when your organization starts applying data protection best practices.
- Deploy new business models and technologies to improve GDPR and CCPA compliant data processing tasks.
No one is born a DPO, and as it is a comparatively new job profile, you will require suitable training. Invest time in understanding the basics of a DPO’s role. If you have time to spare, there are long-term training programs and even diplomas available. Finish self-training through books or massive open online courses (MOOC). Try to find answers to your questions so you can fit into the position as quickly as possible.
Keep an Eye Out for the Latest Industry Trends
The mark of a good DPO is staying current with the latest news related to your industry along with changes to the privacy and cybersecurity industry in general. Set up notifications and alerts on subjects associated with personal data – technical, legal, and societal. Use social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, implement syndication tools such as Feedly, and turn on Google Alerts to make things easier. You can also subscribe to GDPR supervisory authorities and privacy newsletters.
Develop Your Personal Network
You’re not the only Data Protection Officer in your sector. Search for opportunities to develop a strong network. Exchange information – but nothing sensitive or classified – on best practices, and discuss legal and technical points. You will find social media sites such as LinkedIn very useful in this regard, especially since there are Groups dedicated to this topic. Follow key experts and arrange in-person meetings, if possible. Speak to the higher-ups in your organization about opportunities to participate in workshops, conferences, partnerships, workgroups, and meetings.
Familiarize Yourself with the Tools for the Job
Check out tools like step-by-step guides, fact sheets, and data registry templates to help you settle in as a DPO. Search for similar tools from various supervisory authorities, like the EU Commission. Since DPO is a new type of profession, you’ll see new technologies coming out over time to help you perform your role more efficiently.
Speak to Affected Teams and Departments
You’ll need to fully integrate into your company’s operations if you want to grow. Get involved in the development of new services, products, and marketing strategies. Meet the people you will be working with regularly.
- Check the organization chart to decide whom to meet.
- Contact each operational manager to identify if/how they process personal data.
- Make appointments with employees to set up your future collaboration.
Conduct regular audits to identify all the processing of personal data in progress within the organization. Learn what details are collected, such as names, emails, addresses, purchase history, and phone numbers. Once you’ve received this information, develop your action plan and evaluate the compliance level of your company.
Understand Privacy Laws Such as GDPR and CCPA Thoroughly
Get comfortable with the contents of the GDPR as well as its different interpretations. It is not enough to simply know what the law says; you should understand what it means in practice. Learn how to operationalize aspects of the law like the right to data profitability and the right to be forgotten. You should also be able to interpret complex regulatory requirements and offer actionable advice.
Learn Important IT Terms
The GDPR is a complicated regulation. Before you try to explain the terms and phrases to consumers and clients, you should know them yourself. Start with these basic but necessary IT terms:
This refers to a confirmed incident in which protected, confidential or sensitive information has been disclosed or accessed without the required authorization. Data breaches may be intentional or accidental. According to the GDPR, DPOs must report breaches not only to legal authorities but also to the affected data subjects, within 72 hours of the occurrence.
PII (Personally Identifiable Information)
This is any data that may be used for identifying specific individuals. PII may be non-sensitive or sensitive, such as medical information and biometric data. The GDPR mandates that organizations cannot legally process PII without meeting certain criteria. Moreover, data subjects may request their PII to be erased from the firm’s storage systems at any time.
Additional Security Controls
This indicates any security features, resources, controls, and/or functionalities that customers may use, including encryption, monitoring, logging, access and identity management, firewalls, and security scanning.
Notification Email Address
This is the email address designated by company users in the Ordering Document, Order Form or Admin Console to receive specific notifications. Customers are responsible for ensuring the Notification Email Address is valid and current.
This is a third party that is authorized as another processor to have logical access to consumer data and the ability to process that data in order to provide parts of the service.
This refers to the EU-US Privacy Shield legal framework to regulate the cross-border transfer of personal data outside the EU to the US. It was designed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the European Commission and Swiss Authority to provide businesses a mechanism to transfer personal data from the EU and Switzerland while complying with data EU protection requirements.
Data protection and compliance jobs are in high demand, and a DPO role is one of the most attractive positions available right now. Expand your GDPR knowledge and memorize these important IT terms to chart your way to success in the industry.