Data protection officer (DPO) under the new Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023

Safeguarding the data of the public from any kind of breach or unethical processing is now a high level priority for every government on this planet. The Indian government also recently came up with an act to address this problem of insecurity of data privacy. The new digital personal data protection act 2023 covers a lot of issues that rises from the point of sharing your personal data with a company or anyone. The government tried their best to make sure that the data of the citizens are safe from any kind of illegal access. 

Different solutions in case of a data breach are also brought by this act, mainly two of them are - the introduction of digital protection authority where you can file a complaint against any kind of data breach that you've faced. Secondly, if any data fiduciary is caught illegally processing your data or selling your private data then they will have to face the consequences by paying a hefty fine for their deed. The amount of fine can go up to 250 crore rupees. The data fiduciaries need to also give you the contact details of any officer in their conditions clause which you can contact for any kind of data privacy infringement. 

The government in this act has mentioned the concept of SDF or Significant Data Fiduciary, they're mentioned as the data fiduciaries who have fulfilled the criteria established by the government. To certify any data fiduciary as an SDF, the government will check different metrics like the volumes of data or the risk of damage. But there comes a new role - Data protection officer. 

But who is a Data protection officer? 

Data protection officers are the officials to be hired by the Significant Data fiduciaries for the sake of protecting the data under their control from any kind of illegal and unethical uses. 

Every SDF will have to hire a data protection officer who will have to report to the board of the organization. While only SDFs are required to appoint a data protection officer, different other data fiduciaries also need to have an officer who will listen to the grievances of the common people. Every data fiduciary needs to have an officer who will file the complaints and address them, the contact details of the officer must be declared by the fiduciary previously. The role of these data protection officers will be of high importance in any organization to protect the data of the common people and also care about the smooth running of the organization with necessary innovations. The officer will need to have some quality diplomatic strategies to determine the correct trade of the data, with any kind of poor tradeoffs the organization may have to see severe consequences like paying high fines or even losing their consumer support. 

Data protection officer in GDPR of European Union - 

The role of the Data protection officer was also previously introduced in the European Union in the European Union's GDPR on data safety. The Data protection officer is there for gathering and maintaining the data of the public and making sure to use that for the benefit of both sides of the business - the consumer and seller by following ethical and legal ways. 

According to the GDPR, the data protection officer of a firm can be a staff member of the controller or processor, or someone who will do the work on contractual basis. 

Importance of data protection officer -

In today's date, data is also a very important part of business and nearly every organisation needs to gather the highest amount of data possible about a customer to predict their future patterns or innovate the company's product. This cannot be stopped so data gathering is important for any business to run fluently. But the privacy of the customer shouldn't be sacrificed for that cause. Due to several technological innovations, a single data breach can cause huge monetary losses for a civilian. At this moment, the data protection officer will be playing a very critical role to make sure that the organization runs swiftly with painting the data privacy of customers simultaneously. 

Responsibility of the data protection officer - 

1. Monitoring compliance - According to the new act, every organization will have to open a grievance reporting portal where a person can file their complaint about data security and the Data protection officer will help in monitoring that. 

2. Awareness of employees - The responsibility of the data protection officer is not only limited to the organization and customers but also extends to the employees of the organization. Every employee needs to be aware of the importance of safeguarding the private data of customers and the need for it. The data protection officer will help to raise awareness among employees about the same. This is one the most important job of the data protection officer as different departments of an organization need access to different sets of data of different people and then analyse it for the required purpose.

3. Cooperating with the authority - we know that in today's data driven world it's impossible for a firm to run smoothly without having access to or processing the data of the customers. So the data protection officer needs to cooperate with the authority of the organization to make sure that the organization can get access to the required amount of data but also make sure that the data is safe and not processed for unauthorized works. 

4. Advisory - Every department or even the higher authorities of the business may not be aware of the legalities of using the data of their customers. But it will be the role of the data protection officer to advise everyone in the organization who's associated with any data processing work to make sure that the company is following the necessary guidelines. 

While today any organization can get access to an unimaginable amount of data of any person with just one click, the data protection officer will have to play an important role they follow the boundaries and play it fair while also making progress in the business. 


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