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Four Learning Hacks for Data Protection Officers

Updated: Aug 7, 2019



Companies that previously relied on systems based on NRIC numbers and that have not yet been able to migrate away from them are preparing for the 1st September 2019 deadline for completion of this migration. Meanwhile, this article aims to highlight the need for lifelong learning for Data Protection Officers (DPOs) to keep up with new data protection demands.

Now, with time being a precious resource, here are four learning hacks to accelerate the learning journey on data protection for you the DPO, your staff and your management.

1. Explore Micro Accreditation for General Employees

Most employees, especially those processing personal data as part of their daily job, may not be able to commit time and attention to in-depth training. Conducting topic-centric training sessions such as e-learning, “lunch and learn”, and town hall training sessions makes training more efficient and more convenient for organisers and attendees alike.

2. Attend Specialised Training for Managers and Management

To perform their roles for organisations well, management and staff involved in data protection may need to deepen their knowledge of data protection and recent data protection trends. To keep up with the increasing need to be in compliance with data protection laws, attending specialised classes conducted by recognised professionals with operational experience will accelerate and contextualise learning.

Quick Tip: These professionals tend to be Fellows of Information Privacy (FIP) who are recognised by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

Attending specialised classes will enable management and staff to either run or monitor the data protection management programme developed and implemented by their organisations. Additional areas of competence include Information Security, knowledge of other data protection laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and training on how to conduct Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA).

3. Attend International Forums by Experts and Experienced Professionals

Data protection laws may differ across jurisdictions, but many controls tend to be common. Organisations and networks such as the Data Protection Excellence Network (DPEX Network) and the IAPP conduct forums where experts are invited to share their learnings with fellow data protection practitioners. The Data Protection Excellence (DPEX) Network Forum and the IAPP Asia Privacy Forum (APF) are two examples of such international events that will occur soon in Singapore.

The DPEX Network Forum will be held in Singapore on 11 June 2019 and a Masterclass on Demonstrating Accountability will be conducted on 12 June 2019. More details including funding can be found here.

The IAPP APF will be held in Singapore on 15 and 16 July and more details can be found here.

4. Join DPO Support Groups on Social Media

If you are keen to get more regular updates, consider subscribing to data protection-related newsletters or DPO Support Groups on Social Media. For example, Straits Interactive shares weekly updates on its Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

There will be continuous challenges in this new data protection sphere, especially with the rapid advancement of technology. This journey can be less arduous with the support of the data protection community.

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