DPOs as facilitators for the successful implementation of the Data Act

Sep 7, 2022

Corporate data is to be used better in Europe in the future. The Data Act is therefore intended to enable companies to gain better access to data from other companies in order to create new data-driven business models and innovations. How is this law to be implemented, what new challenges will companies face, and where will data protection remain?

On these questions, the EFDPO member association BvD invited experts from the EU Commission, associations and selected companies to a roundtable discussion in Berlin on September 5, 2022. EFDPO was also invited to contribute its perspective on the data protection issues involved in the EU Commission’s draft Data Act.

Representing EFDPO, Vice President Vladan Rámiš gave a keynote speech and participated in the discussion panel. He focused the attention of the 140 participants on site and more than 500 viewers online on the important role that company data protection officers play in the successful implementation of the Data Act in practice.

For example, data protection officers could take on the following tasks in enforcing the Data Act:
1) Under the GDPR:

  • assisting with data protection impact assessments, communicating with data subjects, etc.

2) Under the Data Act:

  • DPOs could be used – due to their independence – as a strong element to increase the trust of all stakeholders in the Data Act rules.
  • DPOs could be entrusted with monitoring compliance with the data use rules under Article 6 DA.
  • DPOs could be tasked with preparing opinions on Article 8 data provision agreements.
  • DPOs could be entrusted with issuing opinions on data requests from public sector bodies under Articles 17 and 18.

Utilizing the existing expertise of the many thousands of DPOs in European companies will thus play a key role in the success of the Data Act. It is all the more regrettable, Rámiš said in his presentation, that DPOs are not mentioned either in the Data Act itself or in the joint opinion of the European Data Protection Board and the European Data Protection Supervisor on the Data Act.

It is to be hoped that with this event, EFDPO has contributed a little to creating greater awareness of this often overlooked DPO resource, both in politics and in business.

A video recording of the roundtable discussion (in German) is available here: https://data-act.org











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