On March 7, 2023, the Irish Data Protection Commission (“DPC”) published its annual report for 2022. The report reflects the DPC’s reputation as both an active enforcer of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and a contributor to policy development at national and EU levels. The level of interaction between the DPC and the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) is particularly significant with more than 300 meetings reported for 2022 (averaging at more than 25 per month), many of which involved participation in the EDPB’s expert subgroups.
The leadership of Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (“DPC”) is to be expanded to a three-person Commission, with the current Commissioner taking the lead role as Chair. The Irish Minister for Justice announced the decision on July 27, 2022, along with the Government’s decision to undertake a review of its governance structures, staffing arrangements and processes for the newly modeled Commission.…
The Irish Data Protection Commission (“DPC”), having last month released its annual report (see our blog post here), has now also issued two additional reports detailing statistics on its handling of cross-border cases (see here) and a recently completed Resource Allocation Audit conducted by independent consultants (see here). Each is important in its own right for the reputation and development of this regulator, the lead EU supervisory authority for many of the large technology companies.
Continue Reading Irish DPC Reports on Cross-Border Activity and Resources
One of every five people (20.5%) in Ireland are children under the age of 14. This constitutes the highest proportion of children in the EU, where the average was 15.2% in 2019. Ireland’s proportion of young people under the age of 30 is also the highest in the EU, at 39%. It’s an influential figure for Irish policy makers and regulators, who have strengthened their approach to protection of children’s personal data in recent years. This greater emphasis on children’s rights is due to a number of additional intersecting dynamics including EU law, child abuse scandals, a rise in cyberbullying, and a growing consensus that children face heightened digital risks. These dynamics have also informed the planned establishment of an Online Safety Commissioner, currently advancing as part of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill just published and currently receiving strong media attention.
Together with the Irish DPC role as lead regulator for many leading technology and social media companies, these legal and cultural headwinds provide the context within which the DPC aims to develop strong child data protection standards.
Following extensive public consultation, with experts as well as school children, the DPC has issued comprehensive guidance on the processing of children’s data. Entitled “Children Front and Centre: Fundamentals for a Child-Oriented Approach to Data Processing,” the guidance sets out 14 principles (referred to as “the Fundamentals”) for organizations engaged in processing the personal data of children.
In addition to the usual GDPR expectations, the specific Fundamentals also include:
- Zero interference with a child’s best interests, where organizations rely on legitimate interests as their legal basis for processing;
- “Know your customer” requirements focusing on child-oriented transparency; and
- Specific guidance around age verification and consent
The overall aim of the Fundamentals, in protecting the best interests of children, is to at least set a default floor of high standardised protection for all data subjects where children may form part of a mixed user audience.…
On Jul 22, 2021, the Irish Joint Committee on Justice (“Committee“) published a report that included a series of recommendations on the work of the Irish Data Protection Commission (“DPC“). The Committee, made up of 14 politicians from across the political spectrum and drawn from both the Dáil (the elected first house) and Seanad (the senate), issued this report following a public hearing held on April 27, 2021 (see our prior blog post here). The recommendations in the report address, among other things, concerns raised about the Irish DPC’s oversight and enforcement of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR“).
Continue Reading Ireland’s Joint Committee on Justice Publishes Recommendations to Reform the Irish Data Protection Commission
The new standard contractual clauses (“SCCs“) issued by the European Commission (see our prior blog post here) continue to prove controversial. Among other things, the SCCs require that the law of the European Union (“EU“) Member State underpinning them provides third-party beneficiary rights. Most EU Member States are civil law jurisdictions that already provide such rights. Ireland, however, is a common law jurisdiction like the U.S. and the UK, and as such, depends largely on evolving case law to define the scope of various rights and obligations.
Continue Reading New Standard Contractual Clauses Raise Questions Under Irish Law
On March 6, 2020, the Irish Supervisory Authority (“DPC”) issued guidance on how companies should process personal data when taking steps to contain the spread and mitigate the effects of COVID-19.
The DPC made clear that data protection law does not stand in the way of the provision of healthcare and the management of public…
Earlier this year, in the run-up to the General Data Protection Regulation’s (“GDPR”) May 25, 2018 date of application, a major question for stakeholders was how zealously the GDPR would be enforced. Now, as the GDPR approaches its six-month birthday, an answer to that question is rapidly emerging. Enforcement appears to be ramping up significantly. …
As we approach the May 2018 effective date of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), there have been a number of global developments over the last few months with respect to the so-called “right to be forgotten,” which will be codified under Article 17 of the GDPR.
In the EU, we previously reported on a Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”) decision that limits the right to be forgotten with respect to public records. And in February, A French high administrative court raised several questions to the CJEU relating to the right to be forgotten in light of the Google v. Costeja Gonzalez decision. The questions address whether and in what circumstances search engines must delist links to websites in response to requests from data subjects, and arose in the context of a pending dispute between Google and CNIL, the French data protection authority.
A decision by a Circuit Court in Ireland recognized the right of a former election candidate to request the removal of information posted about him on Reddit under the right to be forgotten. And the UK recently solicited views on its own implementation of the GDPR, including input regarding the interplay between the right to be forgotten and freedom of expression in the media.
Continue Reading Developments in the Right to Be Forgotten