500 data protection officers to be trained to safeguard company data

Participants during the Future Economy Conference and Exhibition at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre on Oct 16, 2019. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Up to 500 data protection officers will be trained over the next year to monitor and assess their own organisation's personal data protection policies and practices, and to identify the risks from the collection, use and storage of personal data.

To facilitate this, four data protection-related courses were launched on Wednesday (Oct 16). They will be run by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) LearningHub in partnership with the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) and the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC).

These courses aim to upgrade the competencies of data protection officers in data protection and risk
management. Each cost $433.20 after Goods and Services Tax (GST) and a 50 per cent e2i subsidy for Singaporean citizens and permanent residents.

A further 10 courses will be rolled out at a later date. Interested companies and individuals can sign up for the courses at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday (Oct 16) and Thursday, as part of SG:D Industry Day.

NTUC LearningHub chief executive Kwek Kok Kwong said with data driving business transformation today, there is now a greater need for professionals who understand data protection and the adverse effects of data breaches.

"It is for this reason that we are launching the four courses in order to ensure that data protection officers receive the necessary, up-to-date training and upgrade their skills," he added.

The PDPC had previously laid out its Data Protection Competency Framework and Training Roadmap in July, which outlined the competencies and proficiency levels required by data protection officers.

It is currently working with other training partners like the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants, National University of Singapore Law Academy, Singapore Management University Academy and Singapore Polytechnic.

PDPC deputy commissioner Yeong Zee Kin said the courses would not only present workers with new career choices but also bring Singapore closer towards its vision of being a regional data protection hub.

"I encourage all workers with a role in data protection to consider making this choice," Mr Yeong said.

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