“For most organisations, knowing what data is being held and having the ability to implement an effective destruction process is one of the key challenges”

Aisling Clarke, Director at the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland on the challenges posed 6 months on from the GDPR deadline.

19th October, 2018

What's your name?

Aisling Clarke

What position do you hold?

I’m a Director at ACOI, the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland, the leading global association of Compliance Officers, and I chair the ACOI’s Data Protection Working Group. The ACOI represents approximately 3,500 compliance, legal and risk professionals as well as interested parties such as regulators, consultants, trainers and recruiters. Our aim is to provide training and support to compliance professionals from all sectors, to provide leadership for best practice and to promote compliance as a profession.

How long have you held the position?

For three years.

What are your day to day responsibilities?

As a member of ACOI’s Council, I contribute to the development of ACOI strategy and, with my fellow directors, provide oversight of the Executive in fulfilling council strategy for the benefit of our members and assistance to the Executive in matters of technical compliance.

The Data Protection Working Group is comprised of senior practitioners who are expert in Data Protection from a mix of compliance, legal and consulting backgrounds. The Working Group organises ACOI’s events for members and non-members on all aspects of Data Protection, GDPR, ePrivacy Regulations, cyber and information security of relevance to Compliance Officers and Data Protection professionals.

One of the unique aspects of the ACOI is that all Directors and Working Group members are volunteers and the ACOI is fortunate to have such a committed group of volunteers.

What is your professional background?

I’m a Barrister by training having practised at the Bar of England & Wales. I’ve worked in Compliance in financial services for over 20 years, in asset management in the UK and retail banking in Ireland, most recently as Head of Data Protection Policy & Advice at AIB bank. I now freelance as a Data Privacy consultant, advising firms and organisations from all sectors on their Data Protection/GDPR obligations. As you can imagine, it’s been a busy year!

Tell me about yourself away from work?

I’m a keen sailor and member of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. When I’m not sailing, I swim in the sea at Seapoint and enjoy time with my family and friends. In summer, I re-charge my batteries at my little place by the sea in Wexford.

Tell us something very few people know about you?

I’ve been a qualified life-saver since my teens when I swam competitively, but thankfully I’ve not had to test my life-saving skills more recently!

You are speaking at our GDPR Summit on November 6th. What are you speaking about?

I’ll be joining the panel discussion on DPOs (Data Protection Officers, a new statutory role for certain organisations under GDPR). I’ll be hoping to share some of my own experience in how to manage the challenges involved in such a role. I’m also looking forward to hearing from the other panellists about their experiences.

I’ll also be chairing the session on The Accountability Framework under GDPR. As we’re now 6 months post-implementation date, it’s vital that organisations have such a framework in place in order to demonstrate their compliance with GDPR obligations. It will be interesting to share best practice and indeed lessons learned with the attendees.

6 months on from the GDPR deadline, what challenges do you see now for organisations implementing the new regulation?

For most organisations, large and small, retention is one of the key challenges, knowing exactly what data is being held and having the ability to implement an effective destruction process particularly where legacy data or legacy systems are involved. For smaller organisations including one-man operations, the key issue is meeting the sheer volume of compliance obligations as a whole and not just Data Protection.

Aisling Clarke will be speaking at The Sunday Business Post’s GDPR Summit on November 6 in Croke Park. For details visit www.gdpr18.com

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