EU Data Protection Law Creates Demand for Privacy Pros, Law Firm and Paris University Working on Supply


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The European Union’s new privacy regime, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), has and will continue to cause a tectonic shift in data protection law within and outside the EU. The GDPR includes a requirement that certain companies to appoint a data protection officer (DPOs). That requirement is likely to create a bonanza for privacy professionals. The International Association of Privacy Professionals estimates that the GDPR may create as many as 28,000 DPO openings in the EU. All in all, the need to comply with the GDPR may create 75,000 new privacy positions worldwide, according to the IAPP.

With a possible shortage of individuals that might plausibly be qualified for these anticipated new jobs, the University of Pantheon-Assas (Paris II) and the U.S.-based law firm Hogan Lovells LLP have created a new DPO degree program.

The GDPR requires that DPOs are appointed “on the basis of professional qualities, and, in particular, expert knowledge of data protection law and practices.” DPOs should “have expertise in national and European data protection laws and practices and in-depth understanding of the GDPR, according to guidance recently released by the Article 29 Working Party of privacy officials from the 28 EU countries.

The Paris II-Hogan Lovells program will offer courses in law, cybersecurity, data analytics, management and ethics. The curriculum will also include industry sector-specific issues, such as banking, energy and automobiles.

“The DPO must now report to the highest levels of management and must become a trusted advisor to senior management. He or she must understand the business, bring solutions, not just problems. Be a good communicator and know how to balance ricks, conduct a privacy impact assessment put into place a compliance network,” Paris University Professor Benedicte Fauvarque-Cosson, co-creator of the program, said in an introductory video. 

“He or she cannot be seen as a spy,” added Winston Maxwell, partner at Hogan Lovells in Paris, and co-creator of the program.

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