In today’s world of business, globalization and technological advances give rise to more and more complex realities for companies that do their best to comply with rules and regulations of all kinds.

Among the most recent significant additions to the responsibility areas of compliance officers and managers is GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) which was introduced by the European Union in 2018.

Briefly put, the GDPR law is a piece of legislation that protects European consumers from having their personal information and data relating to them individually fall in the wrong hands. When a company is GDPR compliant, consumers can feel safe and secure with regard to their data privacy.

Why GDPR is relevant for non-European companies

Companies across the world hire compliance managers to ensure that alle processes within the organization comply with current laws and regulations. In many companies, there are local, national and international legislation to comply with, but a well-informed compliance officer is also aware of any legislation that does not obviously pertain to his or her organization, industry or country.

In a globalized world, legislation may become relevant in other areas of the world than where it was actually passed. The European GDPR law is a great example as it applies to all situations where European consumers are involved – which could be the case in any geographical corner of the world, thanks to the internet.

The responsibilities of compliance management

Briefly put, the fact is that any company in the world that does business on the internet ought to know about GDPR. Many companies already know this and recognize the value of hiring specialized compliance officers.

But what does a compliance officer’s job typically include? Read on and find the answer.

A compliance officer is typically responsible for the development of his or her company’s internal compliance program.

This means that the person in question relies on an educational background, often within law, in defining how that company should manage compliance issues on a strategic and tactical level. In many cases this work is done in close collaboration with C-level management.

Responsibilities sometimes also include operational tasks in accordance with the company’s compliance program, including tasks such as consent management to comply with the GDPR regulations.

Compliance officers are also often responsible for coordinating business efforts with external regulators and lawmakers. In practice this is a matter of making sure that all dialog with those instances is taken care of in a was that makes sure that nothing gets lost in translation between the parties involved. To take on this kind of responsibility, it is crucial to have a good understanding of how legislative processes work.

Finally, most compliance officers are also responsible for coordinating internal training programs that educate employees and executives on how to ensure compliance with all relevant rules and regulations pertaining to the business.

This is a particularly important area of responsibility if you are doing business online in a way that targets European consumers, since you’d have to comply with GDPR regulations in that case – even though your business is located outside of the European Union.