3 min.

11 June 2021

Becoming a Data Protection Officer (DPO)

Data protection officers, more commonly known as DPOs, ensure that personal information is protected. Generally speaking, DPOs ensure the security and legal use of the data collected by the organization for which they work.

Whats is a DPO's role?

Data protection has become a strategic issue for companies in the 21st century. DPOs are mainly tasked with protecting the data of employees, customers, prospective clients and users, while ensuring strict compliance with European regulations. DPOs make it possible to meet the growing needs of organizations regarding the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Their job is to comply with the new regulatory requirements for digital evolution. They are required to ensure that their employer or client is in compliance with the regulations regarding the data that they collect and use for business purposes. To do so, they work closely with other positions and departments in the company. However, their role goes far beyond that, as they also oversee the use of internal data.

This involves making sure the company acts in accordance with the law by collaborating with the purchasing, legal and IT teams etc., making recommendations and proposing alternative, legally sound solutions. 

Where do DPOs work?

Data protection officers or DPOs can work in a company or a consulting firm, for public institutions as well as in the private sector. 

Which qualities and skills should a DPO have?

Data protection officers have a strong background in IT and legal matters, and are proficient in the basic concepts of data protection and its various facets. They know the general regulations on the protection of personal information, as well as all the approaches, concepts, techniques and methods related to the protection of this data. From the basics of privacy, the principle of confidentiality, the legislation of systems, data transfers, and cyber law, to protection incidents and new threats, nothing should escape their attention.

They are hybrid specialists at the crossroads between project management and law. As a trusted third party, they must have the technical and legal knowledge necessary for the regulatory and strategic operations of their employer's business.

Data protection officers play a central and strategic role. They have to collaborate with almost all the company's departments (marketing, HR, sales, etc.), and must therefore have recognized skills in project management, communication and assertiveness! 

What salary do DPOs earn?

At the beginning of their career, DPOs earn an average of €3000 gross per month. This salary can vary depending on the size of the company and the environment in which they work. The demand on the job market for this fast-growing position is such that salaries can rise to more than €100k in large international groups for the most seasoned professionals. 

Which qualifications are required to become a DPO?

Become a DPO in 2 years with the Digital Law and Management master’s specialization.

As part of the Grande Ecole program, after 3 years of common core curriculum and several international and internship experiences, the master's degree allows students to specialize in a specific field. The Digital Law and Management specialization is taught 100% in English. 

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