Privacy Ninja often gets this question: Is outsourcing the DPO requirements really better than hiring in-house or appointing a current employee? While each option has its own benefits, Privacy Ninja believes that outsourcing your DPO far outweighs them.
It should be noted that all organisations, including sole proprietorships, are required to designate at least one person to be the Data Protection Officer (DPO). This DPO is responsible for ensuring that the organisation complies with the PDPA.
It has been seen from past enforcement cases that Organisations that failed to appoint a Data Protection Officer have had financial penalties ranging from $5000 to $20,000.
So how does outsourcing your DPO requirements benefit your organisation?
1. Financial efficiency. Outsourcing your DPO is financially practical, especially for startups and SMEs. When you outsource your DPO, you don’t need to spend on various training sessions needed by your in-house DPO. You can already expect that the extra upskilling required by the current demands in the field is already part and parcel of the package you acquired.
2. Service continuity. In-house employees bring their knowledge with them when they leave. When you outsource, you are ensured that the scope of work is continuous. Hence, there will be no disruptions to your business operations.
3. Leverage the competence of experts. Privacy Ninja has encountered quite a number of cases whereby an organisation’s employee-turned-DPO struggles to solve data protection issues due to a lack of knowledge. On the flip side, when you outsource, you know that you’re in good hands. When complaints or issues arise, your trusted outsourced DPO will know exactly what to do and how to manage the situation.
4. A capable contact point with the legal authorities. No matter how careful organisations are, the threat of a customer complaint, ransomware attack, or a data breach is still a reality. When such cases happen to your company, your outsourced Data Protection Officer will have the capacity to liaise promptly with the proper authorities. You are assured that all remediation steps are covered in a timely manner.
5. Build a culture of data protection among employees. The outsourced DPO takes an objective approach to manage your data protection requirements. They can give their unbiased recommendations to improve your data protection processes.
Not all outsourced DPOs are created equal
In choosing your outsourced DPO, you can review their certifications and portfolio of clients. You can also identify their scope of work and if it brings value for your money. Different outsourced DPO vendors have different subscription models, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Better yet, arrange for a call with them so you can clarify any uncertainties!
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