I do not really understand the EU's requirement to have a GDPR representative located in the EU for a data controller and/or processor located outside the EU.

From the EU's point of view they obviously want to have someone who cannot avoid interaction with them, but since the representative is more or less not reliable for misbehaviour of the data controller outside the EU, there seems not much difference in what the EU can do with our without such a representative if the outside controller is not responsive to data requests or violates GDPR.

What am I missing here?

This is different to the question what happens if a data contoller ouside EU ignors and/or violates GDPR, which is discussed here In which jurisdictions outside the EU can the GDPR be enforced?

  • Are you asking why the EU decided to make that the law? That would be on-topic on Politics, but not here.
    – Ryan M
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 23:15
  • @Ryan M No, It is more or less clear why they made GDPR. I would like to know why, from a legal point of view, they might have chosen this specific setup of a required representative.
    – UweD
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 23:24
  • 2
    Questions of why the law works a certain way (as opposed to what the law is) are off-topic here; this should be posted on politics.stackexchange.com instead.
    – Ryan M
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 23:26
  • 2
    A representative has some benefits for the GDPR enforcement system, e.g. it's easily possible to serve the controller/processor with a lawsuit through the representative. Having an EU address is useful for data subjects who want to contact or sue the controller/processor. Authorities can enforce while only dealing with the representative, but of course the representative is not liable to pay the fines they receive on behalf of the controller/processor. The location of representative determines the leading supervisory authority. For the UK GDPR, registration will also open up a revenue stream.
    – amon
    Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 17:46
  • 1
    @amon Thank you, that was the kind of answer I was looking for.
    – UweD
    Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 18:04


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