What role does data protection play at a company like Zielpuls? How can a responsible approach be integrated into everyday work and to what extent does data protection play a role at all in the issues of the automotive industry and its developments? Answers to these and many other questions were provided by our data protection expert David
What role does data protection play at Zielpuls?
A big one! However, we have to distinguish between data protection consulting in our projects, data protection of customer data, and Zielpuls' internal data protection. In this respect, as a consulting company, we have a high responsibility to our customers on the one hand to advise them sustainably so that they in turn handle end customer data in accordance with the law, and on the other hand to handle project data responsibly ourselves. Therefore, the most important thing is to convey awareness of data protection.
Does Zielpuls have a special procedure to facilitate data protection in everyday work?
As part of Accenture, we naturally work very closely together across the company to ensure a high level of data protection and data security across all areas. To this end, there are regular exchange meetings, consultation hours and internal projects. Different compliance systems and processes ensure that we act proactively to ensure that nothing happens. Conversely, this means that we evaluate and optimize all ongoing processes in the company in terms of their data privacy compliance. Optimization here means minimizing the likelihood of occurrence and the extent of damage, and avoiding data categories that are highly worthy of protection. This is in line with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation, which calls for a risk-based approach to handling personal data. Inseparably linked to this is the issue of information security. A high level of protection is of course a prerequisite for protecting existing data in the first place. Our internal data protection management is complemented by the support of all employees, so that we can generate a very high level of acceptance for data protection and always good ideas for future improvements.
What are your tasks and responsibilities as a data protection expert?
First and foremost, advising our customers on the subject of data protection. Since this is an interdisciplinary topic, my team and I approach the departments involved at our customers in an advisory capacity and are very closely integrated into the respective data protection management organization. Together with the respective technical managers, we find suitable solutions to make future technologies data protection-friendly. What is important to us here are practical solutions that support our customers on the one hand and give potential end customers a good and transparent sense of security when using products and services on the other.
How does data protection work as a complex system in the automotive environment, for example? A wide variety of sensors in a vehicle collect and process data, sometimes in real time. In some cases, several data are also needed for different functions and thus different departments. As end users, we are used to a function in the vehicle working, but we don't see the large amount of data behind it. That is why it is always important during planning and implementation to check which data is really necessary in terms of economy, which data may be collected for this purpose, which storage and deletion periods must be observed, and which legal basis is necessary. Especially when it comes to technical considerations, we at Zielpuls benefit greatly from our many subject matter experts who bring extensive expertise in the areas of electrics / electronics and vehicle functions. Here, there is also an incredible amount of potential for future employees to understand and improve data protection along the entire system.
Internally, I am also available as a contact person and as a trainer. I hold regular training sessions in which we address the handling of data in a playful way. So far, this approach has been very well received and I would say the success proves us right. This exchange with so many different people is incredibly fun for me!
What demands will data protection place on companies in the future?
It wasn't just the COVID 19 pandemic that exposed and supported the need for digitization in all areas of life. Change brings with it trends such as new technologies, faster implementation speeds and increased data volumes. On the other hand, new national and international laws are setting a legal framework for the use of these very data to protect individuals. This results in a field of tension and design.
The strength of Zielpuls as a technology consultancy is the linking of the two worlds of "technology and people". Through comprehensive understanding of and consulting on technological components of systems, it is easy for us to design processes and systems in a data protection-friendly manner for companies at an early stage through the principle of "privacy by design". The advantage is obvious: fines and expensive rework in late phases of a process or product life cycle are prevented. Likewise, we understand how to bring individuals along with us through good communication. Because one thing is clear: data protection can only work if it is understood. This is where the human component comes in. That is why no day is like any other and always promises new challenges that we tackle together as a team.