Raising awareness of your role
One of the main challenges that privacy officers face is a lack of organisational awareness about who the privacy officer is, what they can assist with, and when they should be consulted.
It’s therefore important that people in your organisation know who you are and what services you can offer. This will make them more likely to engage you often and early.
Tips for raising privacy awareness
Some of the strategies you can consider to raise the profile of privacy within your organisation include:
- Delivering privacy training. While OVIC offers online eLearning modules and training sessions, directly delivering privacy training allows you to get your name out there and to tailor messages to your organisation’s environment. We have developed sample slides that you can adapt to deliver training to your colleagues about their privacy obligations.
- Arrange ‘meet and greets’. This may be with new staff, existing teams you do not have frequent contact with, or project teams.
- Make yourself available. Arrange for standing ‘open door sessions’ in-person or online where colleagues can drop by with privacy queries.
- If your organisation has an intranet site or regular newsletter, consider adding a ‘privacy tips’ or ‘privacy news’ section to these.
- Seek to have privacy added as a standing item on all-staff, executive, or other relevant meetings. This could be an opportunity to talk about developments, learnings from recent privacy matters, or a chance to receive burning questions from your peers.
- Prepare periodic briefing notes about relevant trends, tips, or particular incidents for managers to share with their team members.
- For physical workspaces, consider printing privacy posters that OVIC has developed, or creating your own, and posting these in gathering places.
- Consider targeting messages in tandem with another associated work area. For example, if your organisation has a separate legal team or freedom of information officer, you could consider whether you can jointly promote your services and clarify your differing roles.
Getting executive buy-in
While there is much that you can do yourself, having executive support and advocacy is key in raising your profile and embedding your role at your organisation.
This is because a culture of privacy must start from the top down. This is true for getting executive support for your role generally, and for specific projects that may impact privacy.
OVIC has developed guidance on getting executive support for privacy impact assessments. The list of benefits and tips for seeking support can be largely applied to getting executive buy-in for your role.