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6 min read

Writen by Ana Mishova

Posted on: August 4, 2023

Understanding the Impact of GDPR Article 27

More and more US organizations are starting to understand why and how GDPR applies to them. What you may not realize, however, is just how great the impact of GDPR Article 27 could be on your business, and the difference appointing an EU representative could make to it.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the EU’s data protection law and, if you process the data of EU residents, you’re bound by it even if you’ve never so much as set foot on European soil. Increasingly, US businesses are understanding that GDPR is something that applies to them. Yet few fully understand the potential impact appointing a GDPR rep could have on their business now, and in the future.

In this post, we’ll explore the wider significance of GDPR services.

Entering or expanding in the European market: a lucrative opportunity

It’s often the case the business leaders see GDPR compliance as something that happens in tandem with but separate to European expansion. The reality is that compliance enables expansion. It is as critical to EU growth as your online platform or fulfilment team.

Your EU representative for GDPR acts as a bridge between your business and EU supervisory authorities. They build relationships, handle queries and, in worst case scenarios, take the lead in dealing with data breaches.

Without an EU GDPR consultant, any US business will find it harder to build an EU client base and they’ll risk huge financial penalties in doing so. With GDPR services, the whole EU is open for business.

Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) & leveraging AI

We’re all hearing more about AI and, although predictions vary about how quickly AI will permeate our everyday lives, all see it as relatively imminent. Personal data is an essential ingredient of many AI and machine learning applications, so if you want to set it to work in your business (and if your business deals with EU customers) you’ll need to navigate the intricacies of GDPR.

That will create a challenge for US businesses. In time, most will be using off-the-shelf AI plug-ins, but how will you know what data those AI tools collect?

That’s the purpose of a DPIA. DPIAs assess how AI and machine learning technologies handle personal data. Once you understand how your systems collect that data and use it, you can then implement the right measures to protect individual rights, spot the security and compliance gaps, and address them.

In the US, your data protection officer (DPO) will be able to help you carry out those DPIAs, so your organisation always stays in full control of the AI tools it uses. Your EU GDPR representative will support this from a specifically EU perspective.

Data subjects and their AI rights

Another effect of the growth in AI will be the growing number of people who are aware of the specific rights they have in relation to AI-supported systems.

GDPR grants individuals the right to obtain an explanation of decisions made by automated systems, including AI algorithms. As the use of AI spreads, it’s only a matter of time before the media picks up on this right, which will inevitably lead to more EU residents exercising it.

Your DPO and GDPR EU representative can help you get ahead of the curve, putting clear, transparent compliance measures in place now so that you strike the right balance between enjoying the benefits of AI technology and respecting individuals’ privacy rights.

The Role of the Data Protection Officer in Your Business

We’re often asked about the difference between a DPO and a GDPR rep. Your business needs both. A DPO will operate within (or be contracted to) your US business, where they will be the designated expert responsible for monitoring the business’ data protection activities, providing oversight and ensuring compliance not just with GDPR but the other data laws of the territories in which you operate.

The EU representative operates solely in the EU, providing the point of contact for data subjects and authorities in the EU and reporting back to the DPO in the US.

The two will often need to work closely together, with the GDPR services provided by the EU representative feeding into the activities of the DPO. If ever there’s a data breach that relates to EU residents, a data subject request or an upcoming change in EU legislation, the EU representative will be the first point of contact, and the DPO will be the person to whom the issue is escalated.

While many US businesses outsource their DPO capability to specialist data protection consulting firms, the simple fact is that the better your GDPR rep (and the stronger the relationship between DPO and GDPR consultant), the more effective the DPO – and your overall data protection measures – will be.

Appoint your DPO and GDPR EU representative

GDPR Local’s DPOs and EU representatives often work closely in tandem – making it easier to achieve the comprehensive data protection standards you need at home and in the EU.

Find the right EU GDPR consultant for you now, get data protection advice or, for questions about your next steps, call us on +1 303 317 5998.

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