Data Protection Day: it’s all about you

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The Office of the Data Protection Authority is marking this year’s Data Protection Day on 28 January with a sold-out event for professionals in the field, as well as outlining why all islanders should care about data protection.

Data Protection Day has been recognised internationally annually since 2007, with the aim of raising awareness and promoting privacy and data protection best practices.

The lunchtime event on 28 January will explore the role of the Data Protection Officer and the special protections the Law gives to individuals who hold these roles within local organisations.

The Data Protection (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2017, introduced on 25 May 2018, requires certain types of organisations to have a Data Protection Officer (DPO). The role is independent, reports to the highest tier of management and no conflict of interest must exist which would impact on the performance of the DPO’s functions.

The DPO position demands many skills ranging from legal and technical to operational and managerial and the post holder has to be able to communicate effectively across their organisation, including at board/senior management level.

Alongside the event for professionals working in data protection, the ODPA have also produced a publication outlining why everyone should care about data protection, this can be found at: www.odpa.gg/all-about-you.

Emma Martins, Data Protection Commissioner, commented on why the role of a Data Protection Officer is so important, demanding many skills of the individual and confirmed that more public events will be held soon to support data professionals as well as other groups and sectors.

‘An effective data protection professional is a huge asset for an organisation because data is so intrinsic to nearly all business activity. A business community and jurisdiction that recognises and values professionals who deliver high standards of data governance will have a real impact on reputation and results.  The sharing of ideas and experiences between these highly skilled professionals will be invaluable. Looking beyond Monday’s event, we are putting a lot of thought into our future events programme. The programme will focus on increasing awareness of the scope of personal data, citizens’ legal rights, as well as supporting organisations in their compliance efforts. The Bailiwick is well placed to deliver exceptional quality in this area. This is demonstrated by the world-class standards in local financial services compliance, where highly qualified professionals are a core part of that industry’s success.’