Five questions every DPO should ask before being hired

13th June 2018 News 11 Views

With about 75,000 data protection officers needed worldwide because of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (and probably more), many organizations are still looking for one. Much is said about the tasks of the DPO and its position under the GDPR, but what should the DPO be looking for in a job?
1.) Why me?
Probably the most important thing for a DPO to understand is why the organization wants him or her as a DPO? Why were you selected? Which strengths (or weaknesses) were attractive to the person making the hire? Was it your in-depth knowledge of privacy and data protection law to ensure the organization doesn’t get a fine for noncompliance? What it your experience with information security to prevent that serious data breach from two months ago from happening again? Is it your talent to realize behavioral change in the organization? Your previous DPO experience? Or your good relations with the data protection authority? Or were you hired just because you call yourself a DPO on LinkedIn?
Perhaps it’s your weakness that is the most attractive feature. Were you hired as part of a larger window-dressing operation? In other words, are they expecting you to sit still, play nice and avoid causing any problems? Or do they not expect you to accomplish anything real except to shuffle paper with regard to data subject requests and refer any questions of the DPA to outside counsel?
The job description in the ad will help you get a large part of the answer. Other sources of information include the organization’s corporate social responsibility values (if any), newspapers, internet, and, of course, the interview with the people hiring you

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