Legal chatbot will tell you whether new EU data laws apply to your South African business

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has launched a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence that responds on the new European Union data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The chatbot, “Parker”, helps clients in non-EU jurisdictions (including South Africa) to determine whether the GDPR applies to their business.

The GDPR replaces the Data Protection Directive and is far-reaching, imposing additional obligations on organisations processing personal data of individuals.

Under the GDPR, regulators have significant new powers to fine businesses that do not comply with the new rules. Fines of up to €20 million or 4% of the firm’s turnover (whichever is greater) can be imposed for the most serious data protection offences. The deadline for compliance is May 25, 2018.

Parker uses natural language processing to answer a wide variety of questions non-EU businesses may have on EU GDPR, including whether the GDPR applies to their business and what activities the rules cover.

If you would like to find out whether the GDPR applies to your South African business, you can chat to Parker on the Norton Rose Fulbright website.

Originally created by the firm’s global head of technology and innovation Nick Abrahams and Sydney-based technology associate Edward Odendaal, Parker first helped businesses to respond to a major change in the Australian data protection notification regime that came into effect on February 22, 2018.

Parker now also addresses questions in relation to the GDPR, marking the next step in the data privacy chatbot’s evolution. Norton Rose Fulbright technology senior associate Kerri Crawford of the firm’s Johannesburg office created the GDPR chatbot in conjunction with the firm’s European data protection team.

Speaking on the launch of Parker, Crawford said that South African organisations have largely been focused on preparing for compliance with South Africa’s forthcoming data protection law, the Protection of Personal Information Act.

“Those with activities in Europe may not be aware that the GDPR may apply to them too. Chatting to Parker is a quick and easy way to find out,” she said.

“Parker is one of the first AI-powered global data privacy chatbots and in the first 24 hours of its original December 2017 launch, it had over 1000 conversations, enabling clients to access legal information in a new, efficient and cost-effective way,” added Norton Rose Fulbright global head of technology and innovation Nick Abrahams.

“Following the successful launch of Parker to address client’s questions on the new Australian data protection notification regime, we wanted to examine the scope of the new EU GDPR – a subject of huge concern to businesses worldwide and which will take effect imminently,” he said.

“The GDPR is the biggest overhaul of European data protection regulation in 20 years. Critically, non-EU businesses are subject to the GDPR depending on the scope of their activities in Europe. Parker quickly and intuitively answers standard questions in relation the new EU data protection rules, enabling clients to take action where needed.

Read: The new ‘laptop’ complaint you need to know before buying any electronic device in South Africa

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Legal chatbot will tell you whether new EU data laws apply to your South African business