The data privacy revolution through the eyes of recruitment

Regulatory changes that will introduce higher fines and the necessity of Data Privacy Officers will be at the forefront of 2014 for anyone involved in data privacy. Sam Costigan analyses the impact this will have on consultancy firms from a recruitment perspective.

man stood looking across cityFor anyone involved in the field of data privacy, the impending regulatory changes will be at the forefront of 2014.

To briefly elude to some of my previous blogs, the promise of higher fines, the necessity of Data Privacy Officers (DPOs) for a large majority of companies, as well as the notion of increased administrative burdens on companies looking to fulfil their data privacy obligations, will spark a lot of activity in the market.

Data privacy and consultancy

One interesting area of data privacy, from a recruitment perspective, is consulting. Outside of the major competitors within consultancy; as well as a few boutique firms, this is a fairly small sector. If you were to seek consultative advice on data privacy, you would likely find a host of small 1 or 2 person organisations providing services to a shortlist of key clients.

A natural reaction, both from a proactive and reactive point of view, is to bring in expertise whenever new technical regulation is brought into place; so as not to be made an example of by the regulatory authority in question. The likely impact of this will be an increase in the need for a consultative approach in order to supply the required expertise in response to demand from firms.

The reason for the above assumption is based on risk. If a company’s data is considerably ‘low-risk’, it is unlikely that they will require costly data privacy expertise on a permanent basis. Instead, they will look to bring in interim staff in the form of consultants in order to fulfil their requirements. This should see an increase in the consulting market.

Conversely, companies whom hold data of a high risk nature will be obliged to obtain a data privacy officer, if they haven’t already. The likelihood is that this will be on a permanent basis, if there is a pressing and continuous need to maintain a particularly high standard of compliance. This again will open up the market for the employee to cherry pick their next role, as data privacy expertise becomes increasingly lucrative.

It would be interesting to note the perspective from both employers and employees on this topic, as Europe and the world at large scurry to get to grips with wide sweeping reform.

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