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6 min read

Writen by Ana Mishova

Posted on: July 3, 2023

How to Choose the Right GDPR Rep – A Guide for UK Businesses

You understand why you need an EU GDPR representative. But how do you find one that meets the needs of your business? Our team of GDPR experts explains why.

You’re no stranger to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). You know what it is. You know that, as you trade with the EU and process/store the data of customers in the EU, your business is bound by it. You know why GDPR matters (and if you’re unclear about that last bit, can we politely point you in the direction of this post). As a result of all the above, you know you need an EU GDPR representative to fulfil the role we explore below.

Now comes the practical part. Where do you find an EU GDPR consultant? And how do you know they’re the right person for your organisation?

Understanding the role of an EU GDPR representative

A quick recap: a GDPR representative acts as a point of contact for individuals and data protection authorities in the EU. They serve as a liaison between your UK-based business and the EU authorities, ensuring compliance with GDPR requirements. The representative must be established in one of the EU member states where your business processes personal data.

Importance of choosing the right GDPR representative

We often speak to businesses that, initially at least, treat appointing a European representative for GDPR a little like they treat choosing a new water dispenser for the office. If it ticks the basic boxes, it’ll do.

But selecting the right GDPR representative isn’t a casual choice. It’s crucial for your business in a number of ways:

Legal compliance: Appointing a GDPR rep isn’t optional; it’s the law, and there are potentially severe penalties and fines imposed by EU authorities for businesses that don’t do it. When a decision carries so much weight, it’s important to get it right.

Part of your team: Beyond the legal requirement to appoint a GDPR representative, the role of the GDPR consultant is to ensure the way your business collects, handles and stores data remains compliant with evolving EU law. This is someone who will have an ongoing relationship with and impact on your business, so their appointment should be considered as important as any other member of your team.

First point of contact: Your EU GDPR representative will handle all data protection queries and requests from individuals and authorities in the EU. For anyone in the EU wanting to discuss a data privacy-related topic, the rep will be the first point of contact. It’s important, therefore, that they not only know their data compliance onions, but that they are also able to represent your business in the way you expect.

Expertise and experience: We’ve already talked about the ongoing nature of the relationship with your GDPR EU representative. They’re not there to rubber stamp compliance as a one off. They’re there to partner with your organisation and help it respond to the evolving data landscape. It’s important to choose the right GDPR rep because you’ll be relying on their expertise and experience (and their ability to share that knowledge) again and again over coming years.

How to choose your GDPR representative

Tailored solutions: It’s one thing to know what GDPR says. It’s another to be able to apply it effectively in the real world. Data privacy isn’t simple. It can be messy, sometimes feeling as though you need to knead, nudge and cajole it into place so that it fits your organisation. The right GDPR rep is one that knows how to create customised solutions tailored to your specific requirements, so your business remains compliant while minimising disruption.

Proactive compliance: The right EU GDPR consultant for your UK business doesn’t only spring into action when there’s a problem; they help ensure those problems never occur. Choose an EU GDPR rep who takes a proactive approach to compliance, offering ongoing monitoring, assessment and support, and you build a far more robust and compliant approach to data security that minimizes business risks.

Up to date expertise: Naturally you expect your EU GDPR rep to know the law like the back of their hand. But the right representative for you will stay up to date as the law evolves, ensure that you’re aware of what’s coming down the track, and help you prepare for it. The right GDPR rep should always mean fewer GDPR surprises.

Simple communication: As a baseline, you want communication with your EU GDPR consultant to be easy. They’re there when you need them. They can talk through issues you may be facing in a way that doesn’t blind you with GDPR science. Beyond that, when an EU data subject or regulator gets in touch, they should act as a conduit between parties, streamlining communications, taking the stress out of the process and  helping your business maintain a positive relationship with regulators.

Appoint your GDPR EU representative

Appointing the right GDPR rep matters. But choosing the right person to be part of your team doesn’t have to be complicated.  Find the right EU GDPR consultant for you now, get data protection advice or, for questions about your next steps, call +44 1772 217800.

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