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Data protection trends – from 2020 into 2021

INTEGRITY BEAT - Henry J. Schumacher (The Freeman) - January 1, 2021 - 12:00am

You will agree with me that the global pandemic has sped up the process of digitalization and transformed the landscape of the economy in 2020. Many of my friends moved into e-commerce and are looking forward to expanding their entrepreneurial business in 2021, assuming that consumers will not dramatically change their habits in the year to come.

Many businesses had no choice but to embrace online transactions and digital solutions as part of their effort to survive. Managers understood that data management became super important, from data collection to data analysis.

However, what happened in the bid to quickly digitalize their business, they neglected efforts to build data protection aspects into their operational controls. Hackers and other malicious agents are waiting for an opportune time to take advantage of these situations and steal customer or employee data from these businesses.

Having partnered with STRAITS INTERACTIVE PTE LTD. years ago to drive data privacy protection and introduce Straits interactive excellent software solutions for data protection, we join Straits Interactive CEO and Founder Kevin Shepherdson in highlighting the career that is quietly but surely on the rise, the one  of the Data Protection Officer (DPO).

First and foremost, a DPO’s task is to assist the organization to govern how personal data is being collected, used, disclosed, or stored within an organization according to the requirements of relevant data protection laws, like the Data Privacy Act in the Philippines.

From an operational perspective, the responsibilities of the DPO and key players in the organization are to:

* Assess the risks relating to the processing of personal data and this includes conducting a data protection impact assessment (DPIA).

* Protect the organization by developing a data protection management program (DPMP) against these identified risks. This includes implementing policies and processes for handling personal data.

* Sustain the above compliance efforts by communicating personal data protection policies to stakeholders including training; conducting audits as well as ensure the ongoing monitoring of risks.

* Respond and manage personal data protection related queries and complaints as well as liaising with the data protection regulators (local and/or international) on data protection matters, especially if there is a data protection breach.

Given the importance of data protection at a time when pandemic forces organizations to gather health information on tracing and very soon on vaccination, we are running regular webinars on ‘Data Privacy & Protection made simple’.We offer the online DPOinBOX platform to equip professionals, managers and executives with the competencies to perform their jobs in data protection. The DPOinBOX is not only assisting in the compliance with the Philippine Data Privacy Act but also with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

If assistance is needed or demos on the automation of data privacy protection processes are desired, contact me at schumacher@eitsc.com

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