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Privacy: Data protection officer

Publication date: 29 January 2015
With the upcoming European General Data Protection Regulation, the appointment of a data protection officer will become mandatory for certain businesses and organizations. What are the duties of this officer and what kind of businesses are required to appoint such an officer?

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What kind of businesses are required to appoint a data protection officer?

When the European General Data Protection Regulation will become effective, (probably in the course of 2015/2016), the following businesses and organizations must appoint a data protection officer:

  • businesses with more than 250 employees
  • companies processing data of more than 5000 persons within a period of 12 months
  • government authorities/public bodies

Data protection officer

The data protection officer – also referred to as privacy officer – is an independent person who monitors the general quality of the data protection policy of an organization. Therefore, while performing his tasks, he cannot receive instructions from you as the employer.

The data protection officer will control whether the processing of data in your company is in accordance with the Data Protection Act. If the data protection officer detects irregularities, he must report them to the person in charge or to the company he was appointed by.

In addition, the data protection officer is allowed to make recommendations. However, these recommendations have an advisory function only. Ultimately, it’s up to the person in charge whether to follow the advice of the data protection officer or not.

Appointing a data protection officer means you will have a “watchdog” within your company. However, appointing a data protection officer has advantages as well. You will have an in-house expert who can quickly provide insight on the right way of data processing. The national data protection agency will act reluctantly if the data protection officer performs his duties properly.

Action

  • Check whether you are required to appoint a data protection officer.
  • Get a check on whether the tasks and competences of the data protection officer comply with the new European General Data Protection Regulation.

More information

Russell Advocaten will inform you regularly on the most recent developments regarding this General European Data Protection Regulation and its potential consequences for your business. Would you like to know more about the application of the new General Data Protection Regulation, or do you have any other questions on how to organize your company in the context of the new data protection regulation? Please contact:
Jan Dop, LL.M. (jan.dop@russell.nl).

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