Data Protection News

Data Protection Bill signed into law

President Higgins has signed the Data Protection Bill 2018 into law hours before the GDPR came into effect last Friday. Before being signed by the President, the Seanad accepted 105 wide-ranging amendments to the Bill from the Dáil, including a provision to prohibit companies from micro-targeting and profiling children. A controversial provision that increased the digital age of consent from the government’s preferred choice of 13 years to 16 years was also removed. Full coverage of the Bill will be published in the upcoming edition of Data Protection Ireland. The Bill’s provisions are subject to review after three years.

Deputy Commissioner outlines primary targets

The Deputy Commissioner at the ODPC, Dale Sunderland, said that the Office would be initially targeting its supervisory and enforcement activities at public and private sector organisations that are involved in high risk large-scale data processing activities. He said: “This may include organisations which engage in intensive online tracking and profiling; online internet platforms (including online apps); organisations which process special categories of data such as health or biometric data or other high-risk personal data such as financial and insurance data; companies which use emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things, or which are intensively engaged in automated decision making and profiling of individuals.”

Google tells Irish regulator “you’re in charge now”

Google has apparently notified Helen Dixon that she will be responsible for overseeing its European data privacy compliance. During a recent trip to Brussels, Ms Dixon said she had received a letter from Google along those lines. Until now, the search giant has consistently maintained that its place of main establishment was its Mountain View headquarters in California. Ms Dixon was in Brussels for the first board meeting of the new European Data Protection Board, the body that will co-ordinate the work of the 28 national authorities and set guidelines to maintain consistent standards across the EU.

UK calls for special EU deal on data-sharing laws after Brexit

UK negotiators in Brussels have warned of significant economic and security dangers for Europe should the EU not grant a special deal on data-sharing laws after Brexit. In an appeal for immediate talks on the issue, the UK government’s presentation to Michel Barnier’s team at the European Commission included a mixture of implicit threats and expressions of concern for the future. The EU has expressed willingness to strike a deal over data, but concerns remain from within Whitehall regarding any future legal framework governing data sharing following the EU’s proposed guidelines released in March.


Four internet giants accused of breaking the law within hours of the GDPR taking effect

Complaints have been filed against Facebook, Google, Instagram and WhatsApp within hours of the new GDPR data protection law taking effect last Friday. The companies are accused of forcing users to consent to targeted advertising to use the services. Privacy group led by activist Max Schrems said people were not being given a “free choice”. If the complaints are upheld, the websites may be forced to change how they operate, and they could be fined.