Data Protection Day 2024
Data Protection Day presents an opportunity to reflect on the current state of play and to consider what’s approaching. In this context, the European Commission’s press release on 26 January and the EDPB’s recently published report on the Designation and Position of Data Protection Officers provide useful indicators.
Firstly, in a joint statement Vice-President Jourová and Commissioner Reynders said:
The handling of cross-border cases continues to be one of the most topical and contentious issues in respect of the implementation of the GDPR. It remains to be seen whether the Commission’s proposed new procedural rules will iron out the kinks that have been widely apparent in the application of the one-stop shop regime to date.
Meanwhile, the EDPB’s recently published report on the designations and position of DPOs sets out useful recommendations and observations on the role of the DPO. Among these, there is a recognition of the rapid evolution of this role, even though it is a recently established concept at an EU level. The EDPB commented that:
While this commentary focuses specifically on the role of a DPO, it could apply equally to privacy or data protection functions generally (whether they are labelled a DPO function or otherwise). It is a challenge for those working in this field to remain on top of the latest developments specifically in the rapidly evolving area of data protection law and to address their core data protection responsibilities within their respective organisations. However many are also expected/required to broaden their remit to address the wave of new regulation of the digital economy that is emerging.
It is a legal requirement under the GDPR that a DPO has expert knowledge of data protection law and practices and the ability to fulfil the tasks specified in Article 39. Increasingly, it is a practical requirement that DPOs and their equivalents also have at least a strong working knowledge of current and new related laws.
We look forward to continuing to help our clients navigate these issues in the year ahead.
This document has been prepared by McCann FitzGerald LLP for general guidance only and should not be regarded as a substitute for professional advice. Such advice should always be taken before acting on any of the matters discussed.