Operator versus Responsible Party

Depending on your role with the data subject and classification in the processing of the data subject’s information you could be regarded as an operator or responsible party. The Act prescribes certain obligations and on these two parties, with the responsible party bearing majority of the broader responsibility that the Act outlines.

In order to determine if you are classified as an operator, one would need to ask and confirm if all the following statements are true:

  • Process the data solely in the interest of and on behalf of another,
  • Do so only according to their instructions, but without coming under their direct authority,
  • In terms of a written contract,
  • Would dispose of the data after the arrangement ends,
  • Are merely a service provider, and
  • Do not use the data for any of your own purposes

If none are true, then you are most likely classified as a responsible party.

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