Singapore issuing certifications for data protection officers

Singapore has something new in the works: a certification programme for data protection officers (DPOs). Their job is to help a company fight data security threats and better equip them for their digital future.

It is estimated that in the next three years, more than ten thousand DPO job opportunities will present themselves to those who are qualified.

The aim of the new certification programme is not only to make candidates more qualified for the job, but also to make the role more recognisable and attract more people to take it up. Apart from that, the costs associated with entering the local programme will be more affordable compared to those associated with the international one.

One of DPO’s responsibilities is to prevent the unlawful collection, use, and disclosure of personal information for marketing purposes.

Lyn Boxall, from a law firm of the same name, described the job position of DPO as someone who examines the process, whereas an IT manager oversees the systems.

Over the last couple of years, Singapore’s privacy watchdog has responded to plenty of complaints. More than 26 organisations were hauled up in the process, which includes some well-recognised brand names. They determined that sensitive data was not protected enough, and in some cases, not even a password was set in place to shield it.

Kevin Shepherdson, CEO of Straits Interactive, expects that as heavier fines are imposed, data protection skills will be in higher demand. In the EU, that is expected to happen in the next year or so.