6 min read

Writen by Ana Mishova

Posted on: June 8, 2023

The Role of an EU GDPR Representative in the UK

Why do UK businesses need an EU GDPR rep? What do they do? And what benefits does a GDPR rep bring? Our GDPRLocal team explains.

The Role of EU GDPR Representative Services in the UK

It’s an increasingly interconnected world. Customers buy from businesses based halfway around the world and often have little understanding of who they’re dealing with and where. What does matter to them is trust, and a major part of building trust is how organisations handle the data they collect and control.

We often talk about the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in terms of a top-down way of safeguarding the privacy and rights of EU citizens – and it certainly is that. But by adhering to its requirements, organisations reveal a lot about their values, processes and standards. Complying with the GDPR is, in part at least, about building trust.

For UK businesses trading with EU citizens, that trust starts with the GDPR EU representative.

Understanding the role of the EU GDPR Representative

Under Article 27 of the GDPR, organisations that are not established in the EU but process personal data of individuals within the EU are required to appoint a European representative for GDPR (the EU GDPR rep). This representative acts as a point of contact for individuals and supervisory authorities within the EU. Their primary responsibility is to ensure compliance with the EU GDPR (as opposed to the UK version) on behalf of the non-EU organisation.

What does an EU GDPR rep do?

An EU representative for GDPR Article 27 has a wide-ranging and important role. Used to their full extent, they can make trade with the EU a simpler, smoother and much less fraught experience.

Acting as a point of contact: The EU GDPR consultant serves as a bridge between the UK organisation and individuals or supervisory authorities within the EU. They handle inquiries, requests and communications related to data protection matters, ensuring a smooth flow of information.

That smooth flow is important. For most businesses, data privacy know-how tends not to be part of its knowledge base. When a  request comes in – from customers and data subjects or from authorities –  organisations without a good working relationship with their GDPR rep tend to either sit on the request or panic over it. Neither is healthy for the business or compliance. Having a representative for all GDPR-related matters on speed dial removes the stress and makes complying with GDPR issues a seamless part of business as usual.   

Facilitating data subject rights: EU GDPR representatives play a crucial role in enabling data subjects to exercise their rights. A data subject has numerous rights over the data you hold about them, as conferred by Article 3 of GDPR. These include the right to rectification, erasure, data portability, restriction of processing and more. Your EU GDPR rep will handle enquiries, requests and communications related to data protection matters, and translate any non-English enquiries too.

Cooperation with supervisory authorities: EU GDPR representatives help to maintain effective lines of communication with supervisory authorities in the EU. When an EU authority wants to check that your organisation’s data processing activities align with GDPR requirements, it’s your Article 27 rep that they contact at first instance – something most UK companies will be extremely happy about.

Compliance and documentation: Compliance with GDPR isn’t a ‘one hit and done’ process. The GDPR is going to continue to evolve. So the role of the EU GDPR consultant is not just to explore the way EU citizens’ data travels through your organisation and ensure your processes meet current GDPR standards. It’s also to ensure your business stays compliant with changing legislation, and that all necessary documentation is in place to demonstrate compliance with the regulation.

Benefits of EU GDPR representative services

Legal compliance: By appointing an EU GDPR representative, UK organisations can fulfil their obligations under the GDPR and avoid potentially heavy penalties for non-compliance.

Streamlined communication: The GDPR representative acts as a single point of contact for data protection matters, simplifying communication with individuals and supervisory authorities in the EU. Our clients tell us they very much value having a member of the team to whom they can offload so much of the ‘hard yards’ of GDPR compliance.

Expertise and guidance: EU GDPR representatives possess in-depth knowledge of data protection laws and can provide guidance on compliance requirements and best practices. When a thorny compliance problem rears its head, your data privacy consultant will have the answers.

Customer trust: A GDPR rep is essential for any UK business whose access to the EU market is accompanied by data collection, processing or storage. Working with an EU GDPR rep is a sign your EU customers can trust you. Yet it’s about more than the EU. With the GDPR one of the most far-reaching data privacy regulations worldwide, the way your organisation meets its obligations in the EU is a marker of how you treat data generally. Complying with the EU GDPR is a sign that customers everywhere can put their faith in you.

GDPR services from GDPR local

With our GDPR consultancy services, you don’t have to worry about whether your data privacy processes are compliant – you’ll know they are. And that helps make building trust with your EU customers easier.

Find the right EU GDPR rep for you now, get data protection advice or, for questions about your next steps, call +441772 217800.

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Hope you find this useful. If you need an EU Rep, have any GDPR questions, or have received a SAR or Regulator request and need help then please contact us anytime. We are always happy to help...
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