simply explained: the data protection coordinator

von Ramona

In this technical article we dealt with the so-called “data protection coordinator”. Not least because of the increasing requirements from the General Data Protection Regulation, more and more companies are deciding to appoint an external data protection officer. A data protection coordinator should be assigned to this in the company. But what exactly is a data protection coordinator and what is his job? What is the difference between data protection officers and data protection coordinators? We clarify these and other questions in this blog post.

What is a data protection coordinator?

The data protection coordinator works very closely with the company’s data protection officer in order to implement and implement the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation in the company. Data protection always has to be company-specific. That is why an external DPO always needs an operational contact in the company who is familiar with structures, processes and internal issues. It can be seen as an interface between the company and the external data protection officer. He or she should ideally have a certain level of expertise in data protection law to perform this task.

When do you need a data protection coordinator and what tasks does he have?

There is no legal basis that you have to appoint a data protection coordinator, but especially in large companies with complicated corporate structures or when it comes to sensitive data, it is very difficult for the data protection officer alone – whether external or internal – to implement the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation. Therefore, in addition to the data protection officer, it makes sense to also appoint a data protection coordinator who already knows the company, its processes and employees.

The data protection coordinator mainly supports the external data protection officer in the following tasks:

  • Obtain relevant information
  • be available as a contact person on site for simple data protection issues
  • Manage, update, maintain or prepare data protection documents
  • Maintain the level of data protection required by law or desired by management (for example, by raising employee awareness)
  • Implement standard processes (e.g. advertising objection, ADV, obligation to maintain data secrecy)
  • regular reporting to the DPO

What is the difference between a data protection coordinator and a data protection officer?

The data protection officer is the formally appointed person in the company, who must also be reported to the competent supervisory authority in accordance with Art. 37 Para. 7 GDPR. He has a high level of expertise and reliability. Based on this, he is responsible for ensuring that the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation are implemented and complied with within the company. The data protection officer must be able to recognize and process difficult data protection-related tasks.

The data protection coordinator, on the other hand, supports the external data protection officer in various ways in fulfilling their tasks. Furthermore, the data protection coordinator is a contact point for the data protection officer in order to obtain certain information from the company and to roll out the necessary data protection documents in the company.

How does a data protection coordinator qualify?

There are no legal regulations for this. What qualifies a data protection coordinator depends on the respective company and the scope of the data protection activity. However, from our daily practice as external data protection officers and consultants, we consider it essential that the person is familiar with the basics of the GDPR and trained accordingly. This is the only way for the data protection coordinator to support the data protection officer.

Where is there training for data protection coordinators?

We pass on best practices from our many years of experience in the field of data protection as external DPOs, consultants and auditors. Regardless of an appointment as an external data protection officer, we therefore offer training for data protection coordinators. We know which basics the data protection coordinator has to know and what he has to pay attention to in everyday life.

If you have any questions or support in the area of data protection or if you would like to find out more about our GDPR training courses, the aigner business solutions GmbH team will be happy to assist you. You can find our contact form here.


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Schlagworte: GDPR