Can HR use AI within the European Union?

Last updated: 19 July 2023

Using AI within the European Union (EU) has several implications that organizations must consider to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations. By understanding and addressing these implications, organizations can navigate the legal and regulatory landscape while using AI within the European Union. It is advisable to seek legal counsel or consult data protection authorities for specific guidance tailored to the organization's circumstances.


What to consider when using AI in HR within the EU:

  • Lawful basis for processing: AI systems in HR must have a lawful basis for processing personal data. This typically requires obtaining explicit consent from employees or relying on other legal grounds, such as the necessity for the performance of a contract or compliance with legal obligations.
  • Data minimization and purpose limitation: HR departments should ensure that AI systems only collect and process the necessary personal data for specific, legitimate purposes. The principle of data minimization and purpose limitation should be followed to avoid excessive or unrelated data processing.
  • Transparency and information provision: Organizations must provide clear and transparent information to employees about the use of AI systems in HR, including the types of data collected, the purposes of the processing, and any automated decision-making involved. This information should be communicated through privacy notices or other means.
  • Data subject rights: Employees have the right to access, rectify, and erase their data processed by AI systems. Organizations should establish procedures to facilitate the exercise of these rights and respond to employee requests promptly.
  • Profiling and automated decision-making: If AI systems are used for profiling or automated decision-making that produces legal or significant effects on individuals, organizations must implement appropriate safeguards, such as conducting impact assessments and offering the right to human intervention or review.
  • Security measures: Adequate security measures must be in place to protect personal data processed by AI systems from unauthorized access, loss, or alteration. This includes encryption, access controls, and regular security assessments.
  • Data transfers: If personal data is transferred outside the EU to countries that do not provide an adequate level of data protection, organizations must implement appropriate safeguards, such as using standard contractual clauses or relying on other legal mechanisms.

It is important to note that, HR often involves complex situations that require critical thinking, nuanced judgement, and creativity. HR professionals are skilled at adapting to changing circumstances within the scope of the European Union, handling unexpected challenges, and adjusting strategies and approaches based on evolving organizational needs. Their ability to be flexible and responsive in dynamic situations is vital for effective HR management in Europe. While AI can assist in automating routine tasks and providing data-driven insights, the above human capabilities are invaluable in HR. The combination of AI and human expertise can create a powerful partnership, leveraging the strengths of both to achieve optimal results in HR management.


  1. In short, yes, HR can use AI within the European Union (EU), but it must be done in compliance with the EU's data protection and privacy regulations, particularly the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR sets strict rules for the processing of personal data and imposes obligations on organizations that use AI systems, including HR departments. Organizations need to consult legal professionals or data protection authorities to ensure that they are operating within the specific requirements of the GDPR when using AI in HR within the European Union.

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If you have any further questions, feel free to connect with our CCO, Monique Ramondt-Sanders via email at



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