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8 min read

Writen by Ana Mishova

Posted on: July 18, 2023

Why Your UK Business Needs an EU GDPR Representative in 2023

As the UK’s approach to data protection starts to diverge from Europe’s, why does any UK business still need a European representative for GDPR? Our GDPR experts explain.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was born in Europe. Sure, there was a short period when it affected the UK as a member state of the EU, but the moment the UK formally withdrew from the European Union (EU) in 2020, the GDPR ceased to be part of the framework of laws and regulations directly affecting the way UK businesses go about their work.

Although the GDPR is alive and enshrined in UK law as the Data Protection Act 2018, its days as a carbon copy of the EU GDPR are numbered. Even now, the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill is making its way through parliament. Once enacted, the UK’s approach to data protection will start to look rather different to Europe’s, and we can expect that divergence to grow over time.

All of which raises an important issue for UK business: if the data relationship between the UK and Europe is changing, why on earth would a UK business still need a GDPR rep in 2023?

How Article 27 EU GDPR still affects UK businesses

If your business only sells to UK customers or customers in the rest of the world outside Europe, you’re not bound by GDPR. But if you sell anything to anyone in the EU and, in the process of that work, you collect, process or store the data of people resident in the EU, you’re bound by Article 27 of the GDPR. This requires you to appoint an EU representative for GDPR Article 27 (if you don’t have a presence on the ground in an EU member state in which you are active). The representative must be located in one of those states.

If that sounds onerous, or like another piece of red tape that demands your compliance without anything in return, it shouldn’t. Because appointing a GDPR EU representative can bring lots of advantages…

  • Ensuring compliance; mitigating risk

Appointing an EU GDPR consultant does far more than merely tick the box of GDPR compliance (although it’s important you do that too to avoid some eye-watering penalties).

As more consumers express concern at the way their data is used and display a lack of trust in brands, so complying with GDPR is a badge of responsible trading which helps establish trust with your EU customers and partners, reinforcing your dedication to protecting their data.

  • Maintaining relationships with EU authorities

If an EU regulator feels they need to contact your organisation about a data privacy matter (if you have to refer a data breach to them), their first point of contact will be your GDPR rep. This brings several benefits. By talking at first instance to your EU GDPR consultant, they’re not taking up your time. They’re talking with someone who understands the questions they’ll be asking. And they’ll frequently be speaking the same language.

All of this boosts the smooth flow of information to and from your business, and enhances your reputation with the regulators, ensuring you’re on their radar for all the right reasons.

  • Liaising with data subjects

What would you do if a data subject sent a request to amend or erase their personal data? Would you know what to do from a legal compliance perspective? Would you know what do from a practical perspective?

When you appoint an EU GDPR consultant, they are the data subject’s initial point of contact. They receive the request for access, rectification or erasure. They translate it and then support your handling of it. They help make your life simpler (legally and administratively) and considerably less stressful. And in helping you demonstrate transparency in your data processing practices, they can even help you create more loyal customers.

  • Accessing the EU market

There’s a simple truth about EU GDPR compliance. Unless you make a GDPR rep part of your team, you won’t be able to make the EU part of your growth strategy. With a rep onboard, however, all of Europe is open for business, and you’ll still only need the one representative.

Additionally, the more your align your business with GDPR requirements, the more you enhance your organisation’s reputation and gain a competitive advantage over non-compliant organisations.

  • Helping you navigate change

We know that EU and UK data protection laws are changing and, in the future, those changes will create greater divergence between the two sets of laws. So if you’ve been operating on the basis that whatever data privacy measures you have in place in the UK will be fine for everywhere else, well, that position is changing

In 2023 (and increasingly as we move forward) it’s no longer safe to assume that meeting UK data standards will automatically ensure you meet everyone else’s.

The only legitimate way to ensure you comply with the EU GDPR is to appoint an EU GDPR representative.

We know that EU and UK data protection laws are changing and, in the future, those changes will create greater divergence between the two sets of laws. So if you’ve been operating on the basis that whatever data privacy measures you have in place in the UK will be fine for everywhere else, well, that position is changing.

In 2023 (and increasingly as we move forward) it’s no longer safe to assume that meeting UK data standards will automatically ensure you meet everyone else’s.

The only legitimate way to ensure you comply with the EU GDPR is to appoint an EU GDPR representative.

We know that EU and UK data protection laws are changing and, in the future, those changes will create greater divergence between the two sets of laws. So if you’ve been operating on the basis that whatever data privacy measures you have in place in the UK will be fine for everywhere else, well, that position is changing.

In 2023 (and increasingly as we move forward) it’s no longer safe to assume that meeting UK data standards will automatically ensure you meet everyone else’s.

The only legitimate way to ensure you comply with the EU GDPR is to appoint an EU GDPR representative.

Appoint your EU GDPR representative

In 2023, compliance with the GDPR remains as crucial as it ever was for UK businesses processing the personal data of EU citizens. Appointing a GDPR representative demonstrates your dedication to data protection. It ensures compliance with EU regulations. It fosters trust among your EU customers and partners. By investing in a GDPR EU representative, your UK business sets itself up for success in an increasingly data-driven world.

Find the right EU GDPR consultant for you now, get data protection advice or, for questions about your next steps, call us on +44 1772 217800.

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