faqs for data protection officer services
The Data Protection Officer is a role enshrined in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Section 4, Articles 37, 38 and 39).
The main responsibilities of a DPO are:
- Informing and advising the Controller or Processor of their obligations under Data Protection law, regulations and guidance.
- Monitoring compliance with GDPR and any other data protection provisions including: policies, procedures and training. This is conducted through assurance and audit activity.
- Supporting data privacy by design efforts at the initial design phase by providing advice surrounding Data Protection Impact Assessments.
- Communicating with the Supervisory Authority (The Information Commissioner’s Office – ICO, in the UK) on matters related to different enquiries or compliance matters.
As a DPO, we act with an impartial and confidential manner. We will review your complaint and assess the nature of it. If it is in scope with the law and lies within our duties, we may decide to investigate further. It is important to note that this may take some time as we collect all the facts of your case before responding to both you and the Data Controller.
In order to fully respond to your complaint, we will need time to assess, review, seek further information from the data controller. We will also assess compliance with the law, regulations and policies. We may need to seek advice from the ICO. Time frames will be case dependent. We are unable to give a timescale for the conclusion of our enquiries, but we will communicate frequently to ensure you are informed throughout the process.
We must work with the Data Controller and the Data Subject to resolve Data Protection concerns. We are employed by the Data Controller who will receive a confidential report – a summary of which you will also receive. Our duty of confidentiality extends to this work, however we will be as open and transparent as we can when responding. There will be some cases whereby we need to share your personal information. However, we will only do this if absolutely necessary, and you will be notified prior to it happening.
Under the law, we have a requirement to keep all matters confidential. Within DPAS the qualified DPOs will be the only individuals investigating your complaint. We will be required to share your details with the Data Controller in some cases to reach a determination of the facts. This will only happen when it is deemed necessary. We are required to retain your information for some time to demonstrate compliance with the law. The details of this can be found in our privacy notice which can be found on our website.
We are hired under a service contract. Therefore, we are not employees, which allows us to be truly independent of the Data Controller as defined within the law.
All DPAS employees dealing with your cases will have had advanced training on our Certified Data Protection Officer training program. Some of our DPOs are also legally trained. The DPO assigned to your case will have knowledge of your data controller’s operations. Our Data Protection Officers are supported by our Chief Data Protection Officer, Nigel Gooding who is legally and professionally qualified.
No, the Data Controller is not legally bound to follow our advice but where they decide not to follow, they have to be clear and provide written evidence regarding their justification.
As we work on behalf of the Data Controller all requests for further information should be sent to them direct.
If you are then not fully satisfied with the response you are within your rights to raise the matter with the Supervisory Authority (ICO).