On April 27, 2021, the Irish Oireachtas Committee on Justice met in Dublin to consider recent written submissions received criticising the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC). The meeting was divided into two hour-long meetings with the first meeting devoted to the criticisms of Max Schrems, the Austrian privacy campaigner, and Fred Logue, an Irish data protection lawyer. The second meeting, the longer of the two, heard from Helen Dixon, the Data Protection Commissioner, and the Irish Council of Civil Liberties.
Ten politicians, including the Chair (a lawyer with data law experience), questioned each of the invitees on what was a limited agenda. Each participant was limited to a five minute opening statement after which member politicians attending queried them. Discussion of ongoing cases was not permitted.
The Committee scheduled Mr. Schrems and Ms. Dixon on separate panels, presumably to avoid a repeat of Ms. Dixon’s objection to the previous invitation from the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee proposing to hear from both together at the same hearing. Each in turn were the key participants in their panel discussions. Mr. Schrems repeated criticisms he has made previously and Ms. Dixon gave a strong defence of her office.
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