The Role of an EU Representative in the US
Why does a US business need an EU GDPR representative?
The Role of EU GDPR Representative Services in the US
The US is no stranger to data protection regulation, although there’s no single comprehensive law that applies to all data and all organisations. In a global market, however, US law isn’t the only show in town. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a unified and comprehensive data privacy regulation that applies through all 27 member states of the EU and the additional three members of the EEA. If you do business with EU or EEA citizens and store or process their data, you’re bound by it.
In this blog post, we’ll consider what that means for your business, and we’ll explore how having your own EU GDPR consultant can help you understand and comply with a very different set of data privacy laws.
Do you need an EU GDPR representative?
If you collect, process or store the personal data of EU or EEA citizens in any significant (i.e. not incidental) way, as most businesses will, yes. That’s according to Article 27 of the GDPR. The regulation applies to all “data subjects who are in the Union,” which means it doesn’t apply to EU citizens living outside the EU, but it does apply to anyone of any nationality living in the EU.
As the EU GDPR has pan-global effect, it applies to companies everywhere, including in the US. That means you’ll need to appoint a GDPR rep.
What does an EU GDPR Representative do?
Think of the EU GDPR rep as a member of your team on the ground in Brussels (or Budapest or Bratislava). They are the point of contact for regulatory or supervisory data privacy authorities in EU member states. They’re also the first point of contact for data subjects in EU states who wish to exercise their data privacy rights.
They handle inquiries, requests and other communications related to data protection matters on behalf of your organization.
Beyond their communication role, the job of a European representative for GDPR includes:
Facilitating data subject rights: The GDPR gives data subjects certain rights in respect of their data, including the right to access, rectify and erase their data. When a data subject makes such a request, the GDPR rep plays a pivotal role in facilitating the request, starting with its translation.
Liaising with supervisory authorities: The GDPR EU representative liaises with authorities, ensuring that your organization’s data processing activities align with the GDPR’s regulatory framework.
Improving privacy standards: An EU GDPR rep will build an understanding of how an individual’s data flows through your organization. They will then use that understanding to help make your processing more secure.
Ensuring compliance: The GDPR is an evolving regulation and we can expect it to evolve further in coming years. An EU GDPR consultant helps non-EU organizations understand and meet their compliance obligations now and in the future. They stay abreast of changes and help your organization monitor and implement them in line with best practice.
They also maintain records of processing activities, conduct data protection impact assessments, and ensure that the necessary documentation is in place to demonstrate continued compliance with the GDPR.
Benefits of working with a GDPR EU representative
Avoid fines: If you’re processing EU-based data, appointing an EU representative under GDPR Article 27 is the law and there are potentially serious consequences for any organization failing to meet the requirements of the regulation.
At time of writing, the six biggest fines handed out to companies failing to meet their obligations have all been to US organizations (Meta, Amazon, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and Google LLC), although four of those fall under the same parent company: Meta. The combined fines totaled almost $3 billion.
Access the EU market: The EU is a vast market. Access to that market matters and the quid pro quo for access is to assign an EU GDPR representative.
Build global trust: The EU GDPR is about as robust a data privacy regulation as you’ll currently find globally. Meeting its requirements says a lot about your organization’s approach to data privacy not just in the EU, but at home and elsewhere. When 87% of Americans say they would not do business with a company if they had concerns about its security practices, appointing a GDPR rep is simply sound business sense.
Make compliance easy: Few US businesses are data privacy experts. Even fewer are experts in the data privacy requirements of other territories. That can make compliance with GDPR feel daunting. Data subject requests become messy. Regulator requests become terrifying. But with the third party GDPR services of a representative, you have someone on your side who understands this stuff.
GDPR consultancy services from GDPR local
With our GDPR services, you don’t have to worry about whether your data privacy processes are compliant with EU law – you’ll know they are.
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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