Government appoints two new data protection officers


Under international pressure, the government is to appoint two new data protection officers.

The move will see current Commissioner Helen Dixon appointed to a new role as Chair of the Data Protection Commission.

The appointments, made against the will of the current DPC office, signal that the government is trying to appease international criticism that Ireland does not have the resources to enforce big data protection decisions quickly enough.

“Taking into account the recent, current and evolving circumstances, these factors have led to the recommendation to increase the number of commissioners,” a Justice Department spokesman said.

The Irish Independent first reported on the government’s intention to consider appointing the new commissioners.

The move comes “on the basis that the DPC has evolved significantly since its inception” and “in line with the government’s commitment to ensure that the DPC is able to perform its duties to the best of its ability,” the Justice Department said.

“The increased workload and complexity of the investigations have been regularly highlighted by the Commission itself and its stakeholders.”

The DPC office currently has over 20 ongoing international investigations into multinational tech companies, some of which have been ongoing for years. Last month, it sent a decision on restricting metadata from the EU to the US to other European data regulators before the decision is made public.

“The Privacy Commission has so far performed its role as the state’s independent privacy regulator very effectively,” said Attorney General Helen McEntee. “In recent years, the Commission has faced an increased workload with increasingly complex investigative requirements. Because of their many years of experience and expertise [the] The Government has approved my proposal to appoint Helen Dixon as Chair of the Data Protection Commission. I also request that the DPC undertake a review of governance structures, staffing arrangements and processes to support the work to be carried out by the new commission model.”

The Public Appointments Service will now begin recruiting the two new commissioners, a process expected to take six months.

Funding for the DPC has increased from €3.6 million in 2015 to €23.2 million this year. The number of employees has increased from 110 in 2018 to 191 and there are plans to increase this number to 258 by the end of 2022. Government appoints two new data protection officers

Fry Electronics Team

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