The new GDPR defines the need to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) for certain companies. Although some companies might not be forced to appoint one, for many it might be a good idea to do so anyway.
The DPO has certain responsibilities, such as to keep up to date with knowledge and pass it on to the rest of the organization. It is also responsible for a number of day to day operations, as well as an overall guidance position. Article 39 in the regulation states:
1. The data protection officer shall have at least the following tasks:
(a) to inform and advise the controller or the processor and the employees who carry out processing of their
obligations pursuant to this Regulation and to other Union or Member State data protection provisions;
(b) to monitor compliance with this Regulation, with other Union or Member State data protection provisions and with the policies of the controller or processor in relation to the protection of personal data, including the assignment of responsibilities, awareness-raising and training of staff involved in processing operations, and the related audits;
(c) to provide advice where requested as regards the data protection impact assessment and monitor its performance pursuant to Article 35;
(d) to cooperate with the supervisory authority;
(e) to act as the contact point for the supervisory authority on issues relating to processing, including the prior
consultation referred to in Article 36, and to consult, where appropriate, with regard to any other matter.
2. The data protection officer shall in the performance of his or her tasks have due regard to the risk associated with processing operations, taking into account the nature, scope, context and purposes of processing.