Bill to implement GDPR in Ireland published

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan

Draft legislation to implement the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Ireland has been published.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and Pat Breen, minister of state for data protection, yesterday presented the draft Data Protection Bill 2018, which the Government seeks to enact by May.

Mr Flanagan (pictured) told yesterday’s launch event that the world “has changed a great deal” since the 1995 EU Directive on Data Protection, which is effectively replaced by the new GDPR.

He said the GDPR would strengthened citizens’ right to obtain access to personal data; right to ask for incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete personal data to be corrected; and right to request that personal data be erased when it’s no longer needed or if processing it is unlawful.

Mr Breen pointed to the supports and advice for businesses through the proposed new Data Protection Commission, with up to three commissioners and stronger supervision and enforcement powers.

Significant increases in levels of financial and staffing resources have been allocated to the Data Protection Commissioner in recent years. Staff levels have trebled from 30 in 2013 to almost 100. Additional funding of €4 million on 2018 will bring the overall budget to about €11.7 million and bring staff number to about 120.

The Data Protection Bill will now be debated in the Oireachtas and it is the Government’s intention to have the legislation in place by May.

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