With the explosion of privacy and data protection, the privacy profession has seen massive growth across the globe. Certifications like the Data Protection Trustmark from the IMDA Singapore have also been created to help organisations demonstrate accountable data protection practices. The DPTM can also be the catalyst to start on a journey for international privacy certification such as the ISO/IEC 27701.
A Data Protection Trustmark can also help ensure responsible data protection practices are in place and personal data of customers are better taken care of. Other key observations of global industry observers include:
- New disruptors in the sharing economy (i.e., Facebook and Uber) are learning the significance of data protection.
- The global standard to be certified Data Protection Officer (DPO) is by the IAPP.
- On LinkedIn, job postings with the title “privacy officer,” “data protection officer,” and “chief privacy officer,” have increased by as much as 77% from 2016 to 2019.
- The market is also facing a shortage of DPOs. This is despite the fact that 20,000 people have passed the certification exams of IAPP.
- The US Federal Trade Commission has also been instructing companies to hire chief privacy officers. Law schools responded by introducing privacy as a course of study.
- On the consumer side, statistics indicate that one in three Americans have experienced data compromise. At least 47% also feel that they have minimal to no control over their personal data.
- In the United States market, the useful background of DPO tends to have a comprehension of computer architecture (to assess where myriad consumer databases can be housed). It also tends to lean toward professionals with liberal arts sensibility to better understand social/business ethics and the reason privacy is important to consumers.
Data Protection in Singapore
In Singapore, the DPEX Centre forecasted an increase for Data Protection professionals in the country. It has also been noted that in the second quarter of 2019, the vacant positions for data protection professionals has increased by 32% year-on-year. Data protection positions exceeded the available job positions in cyber security.
The increase in the demand was primarily driven by the government, which accounted for at least 34% of the job vacancies that are advertised. This was then followed by sectors in financial services, health, and information technology.
Guided by advisories and frameworks, the PDPC focuses on pre-emptive safeguards and the organisation’s risk management accountability. This is set to further enhance the demand for more data protection professionals in the country.
Strengthening of the Data Protection Knowledge
As evident with job trends in Singapore, data protection officers have become in demand and this demand is heightened further because the ASEAN Framework on Digital Data Governance can come into play. Case in point: Thailand passed their data protection laws in the mid-2019. Indonesia followed suit.
To help with knowledge building and to provide a resource centre for DPOs (or individuals that are interested in data protection), the DPEX Centre was designed to help data protection professionals.
The Centre’s partners include institutions of higher learning like De La Salle University in the Philippines, the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) and SMU Academy in Singapore. The institutions of higher learning also give practical courses that are designed for knowledge enhancement.
The DPEX Centre is also in talks with other universities within the ASEAN region to extend data protection knowledge within the country. That said, it is definitely the right time to check any courses available on the DPEX Centre website so you can prepare accordingly.