Director of the Agency Zdravko Vukić has participated in a panel discussion “The Future of the Data Protection Officer” within the programme of the third day of the Privacy Symposium 2023 in Venice, on Wednesday 19th of April 2023.
This panel was moderated by Pierre-Yves Lastic (European Federation of Data Protection Officers) and the other participants were: Judith Leschanz (Association of Austrian Data Protection Officers), Ali Zanjani (Austrian Data Protection Authority) and Cosimo Monda (European Centre for Privacy and Cyber Security in Maastricht) and they mainly discussed about the role of the data protection officer in the future, their preparedness to face new challenges — an extensive set of new rules for all digital services such as the Digital Markets Act (DMA), the Digital Services Act, but also the Artificial Intelligence Act.
During the panel, Director Vukić pointed out that it will be a great challenge for data protection officers in Croatia, because practice has shown that often officers don’t have even the basic knowledge on personal data protection. He also pointed out that organizations in Croatia generally have problems with appointing an appropriate data protection officer and that general awareness of the importance of the role of the officer is not sufficiently developed.
“Data protection officers often do not have enough independence in their work, also they are facing a problem with respecting their advice and often they struggle to avoid conflicts of interest between their duties as data protection officers and other work duties in the organization. The Personal Data Protection Agency has always been a great support to data protection officers, and we continuously organize various trainings adapted to their needs. However, despite all our efforts, the understanding of the importance of the role of data protection officers among data controllers, as well as their knowledge on the importance of personal data protection, is still at a low level. There is no doubt that the role of data protection officers will become even more important and complex in the near future, and officers must be ready to deal with the new challenges,” said Director Vukić and emphasized that the Agency will continue with activities aimed at raising awareness of the vital importance of the role of data protection officers.
The main goal of the Privacy Symposium, which was held from 17th to 21st of April in Venice, is to support international dialogue, cooperation, and knowledge exchange on data protection by bringing together data protection experts, authorities, international organizations, and the research community to discuss the latest developments and perspectives related to data protection and privacy. This year’s focus of the Privacy Symposium was on international cooperation and clarification of data protection regulations, new technology and compliance with data protection and also compliance with health and data protection requirements. The Symposium was hosted by Ca’Foscari University of Venice and organized in collaboration with several partners, including the Data Protection Unit of the Council of Europe, the European Centre for Certification and Privacy (ECCP), the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA), the European Cyber Security Organization ( ECSO), European Federation of Data Protection Officers (EFDPO), European Centre on Privacy and Cybersecurity Center (ECPC), Italian Privacy Institute (IIP), Italian Cyber Security Association (CLUSIT), IoT Forum, Mandat International, IoT Lab and European research projects such as Gatekeeper.