Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

09.33 25 Apr 2019


Share this article


The Data Protection Commission has refuted criticism of its relationships with tech giants operating here.

An article published in Politico magazine this week accused Ireland of having a "long history of catering to the very companies it is supposed to oversee".

Looking at Ireland in the context of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the sharply critical article claims the strict data regulation regime is "vulnerable" as Ireland is the lead regulator for several tech giants in Europe.

The article also highlights concerns from French and German authorities about the approach taken by Ireland.

Responding to the article, a spokesperson for the Data Protection Commission stressed that it has 16 investigations into big tech ongoing - including seven concerning Facebook.

The commission's head of communications, Graham Doyle, explained that GDPR rules mean that any actions - such as sanctions - taken against tech giants "will have the input of all EU data protection agencies as interested parties".

"Very frequent contact"

In a recent interview with Newstalk's Jess Kelly, Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon reiterated that there are multiple investigations ongoing.

Speaking about her office's relationship with companies such as Facebook and Google, she said: "We've very, very frequent contact with them

"I would describe it now, particularly post-GDPR, as very much multi-faceted. We have investigators in our organisation... that are dealing with lawyers and data protection teams in these organisations on these statutory investigations that we now have open into very specific matters."

Speaking about the approach of tech giants to GDPR, Ms Dixon observed: "A lot of companies want to get it right - because the GDPR is principles-based, there is no detailed prescriptive code of what the standard of transparency must look like.

"So they do like to engage, they like to understand, and they like to be pushed to make improvements before they launch the product."

Meanwhile, Jess Kelly questioned a claim in the article that Ireland "has yet to take a single action against major tech firms like Facebook and Google".

She told Newstalk Breakfast: "It's really important to note that the Irish Data Protection Commission actually took the biggest data protection case in the EU to the Court of Justice.

"The litigation is related to Facebook's transfers of data to the US. This is pending a hearing at the [court] at the moment, so to say there is no action is factually inaccurate."

Main image: File photo of Data Protection Commissioner's office in Dublin. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Share this article


Read more about

Data Protection GDPR Helen Dixon Jess Kelly

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Best Of Newstalk

Best Of Newstalk

00:00-06:00

Share

Up next

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-21:00

Share

SPLANC

SPLANC

21:00-23:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

23:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on