Data Protection Officer Indonesia: Do You Need One?

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Having a DPO is generally a good idea for businesses, especially when engaging in data processing activities, but not all countries require it. For those under the PDP law, do you need a data protection officer in Indonesia?

The Indonesian PDP law does require a DPO, and it must be appointed, but why is that the case? In this article, we will explain what the PDP law is, its DPO requirements, and why it should be considered to appoint one for your business in Indonesia.

Let’s dive in.

Key Takeaways

The PDP law gives Indonesian data subjects rights to access and manage their personal information on file. Under compliance, an appointed DPO must make and oversee compliance of the business.

Businesses that do large quantities of data collection or process sensitive data are required under the PDP law to have a DPO appointed to ensure compliance.

Penalties for non-compliance can be detrimental to a business, ranging from lawsuits to fines and even potential jail time, depending on the severity of the violation.

What is the Indonesia PDP Law?

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What is Indonesia PDP.jpg

The Indonesia Personal Data Law (PDP) is a data protection regulation that was created to provide data subjects with the rights in how they allow the business to collect their personal information, as well as the ability to give or withdraw consent from how it is being used by the business.

The data protection law was first introduced as the Personal Data Protection Bill in Junaray 2020 but was later amended into what is now the PDP on September 11, 2023. It was amended because lawmakers wanted to provide more clarity to Indoenisan data subjects and the business’s data handlers.

The scope of the PDP law applies to all types of personal data processing to any person or corporation. This includes processing activities such as collecting, analyzing, storing, transferring, and deleting personal data. Personal household data activities are exempt.

In terms of territorial scope, the PDP applies protection to all Indonesian data subjects and organizations that are both within and outside the region of Indonesia.

Data Protection Officer Explained

A data protection officer (DPO) is a person whose main designated role is to oversee the processing of data activities for a business and organization. Their primary function is to ensure that the policies within a business or organization follow what is established by the applicable data protection law (in this case, the PDP).

DPOs work in a variety of environments. From commercial businesses to healthcare providers and government agencies, wherever personal and sensitive data processing occurs on a large scale.

A DPO is not just limited to overseeing activities. Their goal is to stay up to date on current data protection law regulations, as well as to inform business owners on what to do to be compliant and make suggestions for policies that will allow them to operate under compliance.

In addition, DPOs often make suggestions for businesses to implement security protocols to keep personal data safe. They may occasionally conduct a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) to calculate risks that could be involved before making a major data processing decision.

Data Protection Officer Indonesia Requirement

Similar to the GDPR, the PDP law states that a DPO must be appointed to a business that deals in large quantities of data-collecting activities.

Any business whose core activities involve personal and sensitive data processing on a large scale must have a DPO appointed to mandate that the business follows compliance with the PDP law.

Sensitive data is any data that may cause significant harm to the individual if it is leaked.

Appointing a DPO must also be able to mandate that data subjects have their rights addressed, such as access to data or being made to make corrections to it.

A DPO should be responsible for ensuring that it delivers compliance services to data subjects and allows them to exercise their rights. Doing so benefits the data subjects as well as the business in being compliant with the PDP law.

What Qualifications Should a Data Protection Officer Should Have?

Qualification standards for a DPO can vary from country to country due to business needs. In general, though, most DPOs should demonstrate knowledge of current data protection laws and have experience with analyzing data processing activities.

You cannot just hire anyone to be a DPO in Indonesia. You must hire based on professionalism, legal knowledge, personal data protection practice and ability to fulfill their duties.

When hiring a qualified DPO for your business, you should expect them to have a college degree in either computer science, cyber security or any other related field. Most DPOs should also maintain valid certifications as well, but in some cases, like under the PDP, it is not mandatory to have a certain certification.

DPOs need a variety of skills. They need to be analytical and able to interpret data processes and monitor their patterns. They need to be able to identify security risks or when compliance is broken and ensure that the business is running on ethical standards of the PDP law.

In addition, communication skills are essential. The DPO must be able to communicate in an effective manner. That could involve speaking in less jargon and explaining the reasoning behind certain data protection rules in more simple terms.

Tasks the Data Protection Officer Have

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Tasks the Data Protection Officer Have.png

A qualified DPO should be able to do a variety of tasks for your business. Below is an overview of tasks that you should be able to expect your DPO to do.

Inform and Provide Advice to the Data Controller

A DPO should be knowledgeable of the current data protection law that is present in that region. They should be able to provide information on how to develop policies within your business.

They should also be actively communicating with your data controllers to improve data processing activities as well as making sure that they protect the data subject’s private information.

Monitor Compliance

The main reason for hiring a DPO is to make sure that your business is operating in compliance with the relevant data protection laws.

There are a variety of methods of how DPO can maintain your business’ compliance. They likely do frequent audits and assessments of data processing activity throughout the year. They may also monitor for data breaches and inform your business that there has been unauthorized access to data.

Review & Update Policies

Data regulation laws are subject to change over time, which is why a DPO should be knowledgeable and stay up-to-date on implementing new corporate compliance policies for your business.

Your DPO should be open and transparent with you regarding how your policies fit in being compliant with the PDP law. As a result, you should expect normal updates from your DPO regarding your business stance in being compliant with the PDP.

Train Employees on Compliance

In the event of having to change or update your business policies to remain compliant, you should expect your DPO to help inform and train employees of the changes that are implemented.

Employees who are trained and well aware of your policies are more likely not to do anything accidentally that could change your compliance status to non-compliant. Your DPO should help train or at least bring it to their attention regarding a policy change.

Performance Reports

Your DPO will be monitoring all data processing activities. As a result, your DPO should follow up on reports on how those activities are being done.

Performance reports can help you keep track of what is working and what is not. If a policy is not effective in delivering certain compliance, or if there are hiccups that can cause a delay in service, then your DPO should be able to identify it and help come up with suggestions on how to improve the process.

Penalties for Non-Compliance with the Indonesia PDP

Failing to be compliant under the PDP law can result in steep fines and penalties for your business and even potential jail time. The amount of punishment depends on the type of violation that was conducted, as well as the overall severity of it.

Failing to collect informed consent from data subjects and proceeding to do data processing activities can lead to the potential of lawsuits. In addition to the lawsuit, the business may be fined by the PDP for 4 billion rupiahs ($300,000) or up to four years in prison.

In the event of personal data protection failure or failure to address the request of a DSAR, then the PDP could be a maximum of 2% of tier annual revenue earned that year.

Even if your business can survive the financial blows of non-compliance, the reputation damage that followers for breaking data privacy laws can be enough to it in the end. Restoring your image of being trustworthy may or may never be achievable again.


Following compliance regulations can be especially hard for businesses that are limited in resources, but it is something that has to be addressed in order to avoid penalties, fines, or prison time.

For those who own a business and are concerned about their business not being compliant with their region’s data laws, consider getting an outsourced data protection officer from us here at Captain Compliance.

We here at Captain Compliant have experts who know all about data laws from around the globe.

Get in touch with a data expert today!


Is DPO mandatory in Indonesia?

Yes, The PDP data protection regulations state that a DPO must be appointed for businesses and organizations that engage in sensitive or high-volume data processing activities. Failure to appoint a DPO could result in compliance violations from your business, which could lead to fines, lawsuits, and potentially jail time.

Learn more about DPOs and their services here in our detailed article.

How do I become a certified DPO?

Becoming a certified DPO will require you to pursue a degree in cybersecurity, IT, or any other related field. You will also need to demonstrate a passion for data protection laws and policies, as well as gain work experience working for business administration.

Do you want to learn about compliance officer certifications? Read more from this article.

Do all companies need a DPO data protection officer?

No, a DPO is only required for businesses that engage in large-scale data collection and sensitive data processing activities. Smaller businesses may be exempt from requiring a DPO; however, if they do any kind of management of personal and sensitive information data and mishandle it, then they could be liable for lawsuits. Having someone knowledgeable to address compliance should still be considered.

Need to implement data privacy compliance services for your business? Check out this article here.

What is the penalty for not having a DPO?

Penalties for not having a DPO can vary spending on the region’s data protection laws. For Indoesia’s PDP, not having a DPO could result in a fine of 4 billion rupiahs ($300,000) or up to four years in prison.

You will receive a warning at first and be given time to appoint a DPO. Failure to appoint a DPO within the time frame will result in your business’s closure and potential fines for non-compliance.

Interested in implementing a compliance risk management framework? Learn more in this article.

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