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Five Traits to Look for in a Data Protection Officer


Apr 03, 2018

It’s crucial for a data protection officer — required under the EU’s GDPR — to have a enterprisewide view of an organization’s stored data and how it is used, or not used.

Hiring a data protection officer is a vital step in the path towards GDPR compliance, and with the May 25 deadline fast approaching, a step that large organizations are presently beginning to take. Officially responsible for advising on and monitoring the protection and privacy of personal data, this individual will need to successfully navigate several functional, technological, and political obstacles inherent to the role. Let’s establish a foundation for hiring a data protection officer by outlining five fundamental characteristics that he or she should have.

Someone who can translate information to many different parties. It’s the data protection officer’s responsibility to educate the organization on their data privacy responsibilities, as per Article 39. As various departments will use different types of data in different ways and have different pain points for managing that data, a data protection officer must be capable of translating information for each unique case. Whether it’s the marketing department analyzing data for competitive advantage or IT trying to store and manage it all, being able to understand each use case and educate the respective party on best practices will be essential.

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