As evidenced in the IAPP’s DPO Chart, the necessity for and responsibilities of DPOs vary greatly from country to country. For instance, in the European Union, (27 Member-States): the DPO must be either a contractor or employee of the business, should possess expert-level knowledge of data protection law and practices, and must report to the “highest management level.” While in the United States, DPOs must be competent in certain federal laws containing privacy regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and growing state privacy laws and regulations (e.g., California and Nevada’s more stringent privacy protection laws). Finally, in China, a business is legally required to appoint a DPO who is required to have both management and data protection expertise and is further required to report directly to the principal of the organization.
In sum, the IAPP’s DPO Chart underscores that a DPO is far more than just a checkmark for an organization to demonstrate compliance. Certainly, failure to appoint an adequately experienced DPO can result in significant monetary penalties. However, an experienced DPO with a solid understanding of the business’s data collection and use processes can provide the business with a competitive advantage as more and more customers are growing increasingly concerned about how their personal information is gathered, processed, transferred, and stored.
For more information about how ADVISORI can help, please see our previous blog post at: https://advisori.com/blog/the-outsourced-data-protection-office/.
To view IAPP’s DPO Chart, please go to: