What is a Data Protection Authority (DPA)?

A Data Protection Authority or DPA is an government official or body with the authority to ensure compliance with data protection laws and regulations.  The DPA will often bear the responsibility for educating the public and acting as a public liaison for data protection matters.

Generally speaking, countries that enact comprehensive data protection laws which govern the collection, use and dissemination of personal information in the public and private sectors will host an agency or official responsible for overseeing enforcement. In Europe such officials are referred to as Data Protection Authorities.

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