Data pro­tec­tion of­fi­cers are in de­mand as EU dead­line looms

Irish Independent - Business Week - - BUSINESSWEEK - Sal­vador Ro­driguez and El­lie Don­nelly

THEY lack the ca­chet of en­trepreneurs, or rock star tech de­vel­op­ers, but data pro­tec­tion of­fi­cers are sud­denly the hottest prop­er­ties in tech­nol­ogy.

When Jen Brown got her first cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for in­for­ma­tion pri­vacy in 2006, few com­pa­nies were look­ing for peo­ple qual­i­fied to man­age the le­gal and eth­i­cal is­sues re­lated to han­dling cus­tomer data.

But now com­pa­nies across the globe are scram­bling to com­ply with a Euro­pean law that rep­re­sents the big­gest shake-up of per­sonal data pri­vacy rules since the birth of the in­ter­net. Jen Brown’s in­box is be­ing be­sieged by re­cruiters.

In Ire­land there were 98 va­can­cies listed on jobs web­site In­ for data pro­tec­tion of­fi­cers (DPOs) yes­ter­day, in­clud­ing with global tech­nol­ogy gi­ants Twit­ter, Mi­crosoft, AirBnB and Face­book as well as do­mes­tic firms and the pub­lic sec­tor.

“I got into se­cu­rity be­fore any­one cared about it, and I had a hard time find­ing a job,” said the 46-year-old, who is the data pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer (DPO) of an­a­lyt­ics startup Sumo Logic in Red­wood City near San Fran­cisco.

“Sud­denly, peo­ple are sit­ting up and tak­ing no­tice.”

Ms Brown is among a hith­erto rare breed of work­ers be­com­ing sought-af­ter in the global tech in­dus­try ahead of the EU’s Gen­eral Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tion (GDPR), which goes into ef­fect in May.

The law is in­tended to give Euro­pean cit­i­zens more con­trol over their on­line in­for­ma­tion and ap­plies to all firms that do busi­ness with Euro­peans. It re­quires that all com­pa­nies whose core ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude sub­stan­tial mon­i­tor­ing or pro­cess­ing of per­sonal data hire a DPO.

And find­ing DPOs is not easy. More than 28,000 will be needed in Europe and US and as many as 75,000 around the globe as a re­sult of GDPR, the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Pri­vacy Pro­fes­sion­als (IAPP) es­ti­mates. The need for DPOs is ex­pected to be par­tic­u­larly high in any data-rich in­dus­tries, such as tech­nol­ogy, but de­mand is likely to per­co­late through the econ­omy. (Reuters)

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