Data Protection Officers' Work
Under the Personal Data Protection Act
(PDPA) in Singapore, organisations are required to designate at least one employee, known as the Data Protection Officer (DPO)
, to oversee data protection responsibilities within the organisation. Agencies from both the public and private sectors are subject to the same standards of governing data practices under the PDPA.
In the last year alone, it was reported by CNA
that the country's Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC)
processed close to 3,000 data-related cases. These figures are certainly alarming, and it highlights that organisations in Singapore are not living up to expectations outlined by the data regulation watchdog.
Here’s how to get started
Appointed DPOs in every organisation have a crucial role to play in this modern age. For a start, the DPO has to ensure that data protection protocols are implemented, and good data protection habits are also well maintained by employees. DPOs should also regularly attend data protection workshops and refresher courses to further acquire more skills and knowledge in order to carry out their duties more effectively. The DPOs can then share the acquired knowledge with other employees such as personnel from the Human Resource (HR) department
as they also handle employees’ data such as CVs, payroll and NRIC numbers.
Risk assessment exercises
can be conducted by DPOs to review current data protection policies and flag out potential data security risks. Necessary measures to address these issues can then be implemented by the organisation. Regular internal risk assessments can also be carried out to ensure that the organisation maintains the desired level of data protection at all times.
In addition to that, DPOs are also tasked with educating and encouraging good data protection habits amongst employees within the organisation. For example, the DPO can introduce new data protection exercises such as the Shred-it All Policy
and Clean Desk Policy
. Partnering with a third-party data destruction provider
will also provide an organisation with an all-rounded data security service, such as secure disposal methods
. Taking proactive measures to secure your organisation’s data will benefit everyone in the long run – preventing potential monetary and reputational loss.
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