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Appointing a country Data Protection (DP) representative is of great importance, particularly when considering how personal data processing can affect fundamental human rights. Although the obligation to appoint a DP representative was prescribed on the European level some time ago, global companies have faced challenges in implementing Article 27 of the GDPR. As a result, concrete measures have been taken to appoint individuals who specialize in protecting data subjects’ privacy.
The non-compliance of controllers and processors with their legal obligations may be due to a lack of understanding of the obligations themselves. As the Serbian Law on Personal Data Protection has largely adopted GDPR provisions, a comparison can be made between the institution of the DP representative and the European institution of the Data Protection Officer (DPO). It is important to note that while they may seem similar, it is essential to differentiate between these two terms. We have discussed the differences between them in our article titled Data Protection Officer vs GDPR appointed country representative for Serbia.
In many cases, controllers and processors operating on a global scale do not consider Serbia as part of Europe and may therefore neglect regulations regarding data protection of Serbian data subjects. This can result in the denial of guaranteed rights to Serbian citizens, ultimately impacting legal certainty and the rule of law. Non-compliant data controllers may face penal liabilities and fines, which, although not necessarily affecting the financial stability of large companies, can still damage their reputation. Therefore, all subjects required to appoint a country representative for Serbia should promptly comply with the law, allowing citizens to exercise and protect their rights related to the protection of their personal data.