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Outsourcing the DPO (DPOaaS), Is It a Good Idea?

Outsourcing the DPO (DPOaaS), Is It a Good Idea?

9 months ago
João Bruno Soares
5 minutes

The Data Protection Officer, or DPO, is a new position that emerged all over the globe with the new privacy regulations, and more recently at the LGPD. Although it already existed in other international legislations, such as the GDPR of the European Union, it is still a novelty here since 2020. Along with it comes the possibility of outsourcing, known as DPO as a Service (DPOaaS).

Due to its novelty and the importance of its role, many companies and organizations are opting for outsourcing this activity. But is it really a good idea? What are the risks and advantages?

Find the answers to these questions and get to know the Data Protection Officer and their responsibilities as per LGPD regulations.

What Is a DPO?

The DPO is an individual or legal entity established within Data Protection Policies as one of the agents involved in the processing and use of data subjects' information. Thus, their role is of utmost importance.

They can be either an individual or a legal entity. However, they cannot correspond to a department or team within the company. After all, documents related to data collection and processing must specifically indicate who is responsible as the DPO.

### Learn more about the roles of data controller and data processor in LGPD

The DPO's functions lie in mediating the relationship between data subjects, the data processor, and the National Data Protection Authority (ANPD).

They do not necessarily make decisions regarding data and its use. However, they assist in following and complying with the guidelines imposed by the data controller and the General Data Protection Law. Another one of the DPO's responsibilities is to provide guidance to employees who have access to third-party data, instructing them on how to adhere to LGPD guidelines and the consents that have been granted.

### Their role is to educate, organize, and audit in accordance with ANPD regulations.

Some of the main activities that a DPO, whether outsourced or not, may perform include:

  • Handling data subject complaints, providing clarifications, and taking necessary actions;
  • Receiving communications from ANPD and taking appropriate actions;
  • Handling consent revocations or changes in consent and taking appropriate measures;
  • Ensuring the application of LGPD principles regarding personal data processing;
  • Monitoring organizations' compliance with the General Data Protection Law, etc.

Thus, the DPO serves as an intermediary, mediating relationships and being one of the agents responsible for ensuring compliance with LGPD.

When Can You Outsource the DPO?

Anytime a company or organization desires, they can outsource these services. The law does not require the DPO to be an internal employee. In fact, it does not even require the DPO to be an individual.

Therefore, any self-employed professional or company that provides services in this area can offer services to other companies. This involves the establishment of a service provision or outsourcing contract.

In the case of hiring an external person as a DPO as a service (DPOaaS), a service provision contract is established directly with the professional.

On the other hand, when a company is hired, there is an outsourcing of the DPO. The entity determined as the DPO within the Privacy Policies is the legal entity.

It provides professionals who will perform the typical duties of a DPO. However, they provide this service to a company due to their employer's hiring.

Advantages of DPO as a Service

To determine whether outsourcing the LGPD DPO is worthwhile, it is necessary to consider the advantages it offers. Here are some of the main advantages:

First and foremost, it is essential for companies, organizations, and websites to have a clear determination of who the DPO is in order to comply with the LGPD. Currently, all companies must have one, although there are indications of a potential limitation of this requirement in the future.

Below are some advantages of DPOaaS

Agility

In this regard, note that it is not always easy to hire someone with the necessary knowledge for this role or to train them to fulfill the duties of a DPO. Therefore, compliance can be more rapid and straightforward through the outsourcing of such services.

Speed

Once a qualified professional or even a company with multidisciplinary knowledge for the role is found, the adaptation process becomes much faster. This is because each company and market has its own specificities.

Training and Qualification

Every new area and law requires extensive study and is subject to various short-term changes. Therefore, outsourcing this role also means outsourcing the responsibility of staying up-to-date and investing in the professionals' training.

Autonomy

Roles involving oversight and audit can sometimes create conflicts with departments and even managers. It is essential for the DPO to have autonomy in their work and even stability, as prescribed by the law. After all, they cannot be threatened with job loss for overseeing processes within the company. Therefore, outsourcing this responsibility can lighten the organizational atmosphere.

Flexibility

Just like any service provider, working with a contract makes it much easier to replace them compared to a full-time employee. Therefore, having a DPOaaS as a legal entity provides much more flexibility in case adjustments or replacements are needed over time.

Lower Costs

Labor and social security charges are quite substantial in Brazil. Hiring a legal entity for this role can lead to reduced costs for the company while increasing the remuneration of the service provider.

ATTENTION: It is important to note that, regardless of how responsible a service provider may be for their role, they are still under the hierarchy of the employer. Therefore, ultimate decisions may be the responsibility of the company's administrators, even when using DPOaaS. Be cautious not to rely on outsourcing as a means of avoiding responsibility.

The same applies when the company does not appoint a DPO; the ultimate responsibility falls on the managing partners. When appointed, the professional acts on behalf of the company and its representatives before the national authority.

### Do you know the difference between Data Mapping and ROPA in LGPD?

Hire Experts in the Field

Another interesting aspect of outsourcing the DPO is that this way, you can have an expert in the field. As mentioned above, it is not your company that is responsible for the training; it is the hired professional or company.

This ensures even greater security for operations to comply with LGPD and be in the hands of experts. It is even better when the professional is part of a network or multidisciplinary group that can assist with the specificities of your business and market.

What Are the DPO's Functions When Outsourced?

In this case, the functions are the same as those of an internal DPO. After all, outsourcing only refers to the possibility that the activities are carried out by an external agent to the company.

As mentioned above, this agent can be a legal entity or a natural person. Either way, they must be specifically identified within the Privacy Policy and other documents related to consent, use, and data processing.

Any changes regarding who is responsible as the LGPD DPO must be reflected in policy changes. Failure to do so would result in a violation of the General Data Protection Law and the creation of risks such as fines and even suspension of databases.

Want to learn more about the responsibilities of a Data Protection Officer? I've prepared this article for you!

Tags

Controller and Operator
Data Protection Officer - DPO
Privacy by Design

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