7 min read

Writen by Ana Mishova

Posted on: May 26, 2023

GDPR – Why US Businesses Need an EU GDPR Consultant

If you’re part of a US business that handles the data of EU citizens, you need to comply with the EU GDPR. But how do you know exactly what to comply with and how to do it? In this post, GDPR Local looks at how working with an EU GDPR consultant can help protect your business from security risks, reputational damage and fines.

You’re based in the US. So you might assume that, when it comes to data privacy, you’ll need to abide by state and federal data privacy laws. Whilst that’s true, if your business collects, stores or manages the data of EU citizens, you’ll also need to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). But how do you know whether you’re doing compliance right?

That’s the value of GDPR consultancy. An EU GDPR representative can guide you in implementing measures that ensure you stay compliant. And as we’re about to discover, that can bring a lot of benefits.

Why is the US bound by an EU regulation?

Although GDPR is an EU regulation, it has an extra-territorial reach. That means it not only applies in the EU; it also applies to companies outside the EU processing the data of EU residents.

US companies that collect or process such data must adhere to GDPR principles and requirements.

It’s important to remember that the EU GDPR applies in each of the EU’s 27 member states. Since 2020, that no longer includes the UK, which has its own data privacy laws.

  1. Expertise in data protection

The US has lots of data privacy laws. The problem for many US businesses is that they tend to assume compliance with US laws will satisfy everyone else’s laws too. They won’t. While there are many similarities between US and EU data law, there are also significant differences.

Having your own European representative for GDPR means you stay on top of your responsibilities and avoid the potential financial and reputational damage that can come from failing to comply with the regulation.

That’s important, because serious violations of the EU GDPR can result in a fine of up to €20 million or 4% of your organization’s annual revenue, whichever is higher.

GDPR consultants specialize in data protection and privacy. They possess a deep understanding of GDPR’s intricacies, including its principles, the rights of data subjects, security requirements, and lawful bases for processing. By leveraging their expertise, US businesses can navigate the complex landscape of data protection more effectively, ensuring that their practices align with GDPR standards.

  • Legal compliance

Perhaps one of the simplest reasons for working with a GDPR rep is that it’s the law. Anyone in the US who is processing, storing or collecting the data of EU citizens is required to have an EU representative under GDPR Article 27.

Article 27 representation can mean several things. At its most basic level an article 27 rep will simply be a point of contact within the EU for the EU’s data protection authorities.

But your EU GDPR consultant could be doing so much more than that, as the following points explore.

Discover more about appointing an Article 27 EU GDPR representative with GDPR Local

  • Risk assessment and mitigation

Your GDPR EU representative can carry out comprehensive risk assessments tailored to the unique needs of your business. They can identify vulnerabilities in your data processing activities, assess the risks associated with data breaches or non-compliance, and provide recommendations to mitigate those risks. This proactive approach helps US businesses minimize the likelihood of data breaches, regulatory fines, and reputational damage.

  • Enhanced data handling practices

Implementing GDPR-compliant data handling practices is not just a legal requirement; it’s also essential for building trust with customers. A study by the Pew Research Centre found that 64% of smartphone users believe that a brand’s data privacy policy is an important factor for them. 46% of US consumers said their decision to buy would be influenced by how satisfied they are that a company would protect their data and privacy.

If data privacy matters to US consumers it matters to EU consumers too. Working with a GDPR consultancy can help US businesses develop and implement robust policies and procedures for consent management, data breach response, and data protection of EU citizens.

The better the policies and their implementation, the greater the trust US companies build with their EU customers.

  • Keeping up with evolving regulations

Just when you think you’ve got the EU’s data protection regulations correctly integrated within your business, the law changes. As a relatively new law in a fast-changing landscape, we’re likely to see the GDPR change many more times yet.

The challenge for US businesses is knowing what GDPR changes are coming and how to respond to them. A specialist GDPR consultant keeps up to speed with the latest regulatory changes and can give you timely guidance that helps you adapt your practices accordingly, so you stay compliant.

EU GDPR representative services from GDPR Local

Business is increasingly data driven. For many organizations, the future will be built on using data to better understand customers, to drive new efficiencies and to harness AI.

This makes it even more important that US businesses prioritize GDPR compliance, because while it protects the personal data of consumers and helps maintain trust, it also enables a future with reduced risk.

GDPR services from GDPR Local can give your business invaluable expertise, guidance, and assistance in navigating the complex world of data protection.

Get data protection advice for your business now or, for questions about your next steps, write to us.

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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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