The advantages of an external Data Protection Advisor

for pension funds

Philipp Rosenauer
Partner Legal, PwC Switzerland

Aline Marti
Senior Associate, Pension Legal Assistant, PwC Switzerland

In one of our last blogposts, we explained the role of an external Data Protection Advisor (DPA) for pension funds. Since pension funds qualify as federal bodies, such a Data Protection Advisor needs to be nominated and registered with the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner.

Many pension funds so far have decided to outsource this role. This blogpost summarises the main advantages of outsourcing the role compared to operating it internally within the organisation.

1. Expertise and specialised skill set

Outsourcing the role of a DPA guarantees access to a team of specialists who are continually updated and trained in the intricacies of data protection laws. This ensures that the organisation complies with ever-changing legal requirements, mitigating the risk of non-compliance penalties. Hiring in-house may not provide the same level of expertise or keep pace with the rapidly evolving data protection landscape.

2. Cost-effectiveness

Maintaining an in-house DPA can be costly, considering the remuneration, training and other employee-related expenses. By outsourcing, you only pay for the service provided, which is often a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. This makes outsourcing a cost-effective solution, especially for smaller businesses and startups with tighter budgets.

3. Independence and objectivity

An outsourced DPA ensures an objective view of your data protection practices without any conflicting internal organisational bias. This independence can enhance the accuracy of data protection audits and reports, ensuring your company maintains the highest level of compliance. An internal DPA, on the other hand, may face conflicts of interest, making objectivity harder to achieve.

4. Scalability

As your organisation changes or grows, your data protection needs can scale simultaneously if you outsource your DPA services. Outsourcing firms can adjust their services according to their business needs, saving them the trouble of recruiting, training or managing additional resources during expansion periods.

5. Time saving

By outsourcing, your internal team can focus on your core business objectives, while the external DPA handles the complex, time-consuming tasks related to data protection. This not only increases efficiency but also allows your team to focus on driving the business forward.

In conclusion, while an internal DPA might seem convenient, the benefits of outsourcing this role to a dedicated service provider are significant. Expertise, cost-effectiveness, objectivity, scalability, advanced technology and time-saving are key advantages that can enhance your organisation’s data protection and privacy compliance.

Pension funds can outsource the role of Data Protection Advisor to PwC on a mandate basis. Registration with the data protection authority is based on a monthly lump sum. Additional services are provided on a quotation basis.


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