Data Protection with HRGO Recruitment: Expert Insight

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We spoke to our in-house expert on data protection, Deepak Jagpal, to find out how his career has evolved through both challenges and successes and how this experience equips him to support both HRGO Recruitment and your businesses. 

1. What motivated you to specialise in data protection and privacy?  
My interest in specialising in data protection was sparked when I first used technology at junior school, where we were taught basic computer language using a British Broadcasting Corporation Microcomputer System (BBC Micro) made by Acorn, to control a “BBC Buggy” (“Turtle”) by drawing shapes on graph paper. 

This ignited my passion for studying every aspect of technology and exploring its ethical boundaries. I have received a broad education, covering all aspects of computing & technology up to the degree level. 

I have witnessed the world's transition from paper-based manual systems in the 80s when the Data Protection guidelines were introduced. These guidelines were designed to reflect the increasing use of computers to process business transactions, including the development of technologies such as the first consumer mobile phone. 

2. Can you share insights into your expertise in data protection and the skills you've developed in this field?  
During my career at the NHS, Bupa Home Healthcare, and Lloyds Pharmacy, I obtained a Certified Practitioner in Data Protection qualification and undertook the CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) course, which complements the Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Computing I have attained. 

3. Could you share a notable success story or experience from your time as a Data Protection Officer?  
There are two notable successes: the first was implementing the General Data Protection Regulation within the NHS Trust and the wider NHS. The second success is being a national speaker at the Data Protection World Forum and empowering other organisations to use Data Protection as a business enabler, as opposed to simply policing legislation. 

4. In your view, what distinguishes your approach to data protection and privacy management from others in this field?  
I have observed some data protection professionals using legislation to restrict organisations and individuals without offering a solution. This can harm any organisation looking to evolve and adopt the latest technologies. 

My approach is to view legislation as an enabler for organisations to adopt a dynamic business approach. I see my role as more of a solutions specialist and a safety net for an organisation in the event of a data-related incident. 
I encourage all individuals to reach out to me and report any errors, no matter how trivial, as protecting personal data and individual rights should be at the forefront of everything we do. 

5. What unique challenges do you face in the world of data protection, and how do you address them to ensure compliance and effective data management?  
The challenges I often face with data protection involve understanding and embedding the legislation into everyday 'business as usual' activities. Data Protection practitioners often provide generic, rigid advice without fully understanding the different moving parts of a process. 

To provide flexible and workable solutions with compliance, I examine who, what, where, when, why, and how an organisation wishes to obtain, process, and store data. 

6. How do you stay informed about the latest developments, best practices, and regulatory changes in data protection and privacy?  
I stay informed of the latest updates through the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the National Cyber Security Centre, and updates from the Data Protection community. 

7. If you could offer a piece of advice to someone considering a career in data protection, what would it be? 
My advice to someone interested in a career in data protection would be to have a firm understanding of the various legislations that form part of data protection. Experience is key, and I would recommend starting in an entry-level role such as a Freedom of Information (FOI) officer or Information Governance coordinator, as experience in applying legislation in practice is key. 

I would then aim to get a certification in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to support your experience. 


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