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The Advocate General, Yves Bot, of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) last week delivered his opinion in the Maximillian Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner Case, C362/14 (the Opinion). The Opinion, which is advisory in nature, recommends that the Safe Harbour programme be invalidated and that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (the DPC) be empowered to carry out a full investigation as to the adequacy of protection afforded to the personal data of Facebook’s EU users. 


Continue Reading Safe Harbour in Danger?

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The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) participated in the third Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) Privacy “Sweep” (the Sweep) which took place between 11th and 15th May 2015. The aim of the Sweep was to examine the data privacy practices of websites and apps aimed at or popular among children.


Continue Reading GPEN Privacy Sweep 2015 raises Concerns over Children’s Apps

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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or Drones, as they are more commonly known, have traditionally been regarded as a military tool, frequently featuring in media reports on US military action as well as TV dramas such as ‘Homeland’ and ‘House of Cards’. They are however, being increasingly put to a much broader spectrum of uses.

Drones have been used by humanitarian organisations to deliver food and medical supplies to crisis-stricken areas. Following typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, drones were used by international relief agency Medair to map terrain and create a detailed system of 3D aerial images of the region to make relief efforts more efficient. Amazon’s Prime Air development project has also garnered a lot of attention for its goal to use drones to deliver goods to customers in 30 minutes or less. Drones are also now available to buy in electronics stores and are used to capture videos and photographs by amateur and professional photographers.


Continue Reading Drone Regulation Takes Flight

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The political machinations continue at EU level and predictions for publication of a final form Data Protection Regulation increasingly refer to 2016 as the likely date. But to read behind the headlines continues to be a useful exercise for corporates who need to give real consideration now to what their regulatory landscape might look like in the not too distant future.

A key issue will be determining the place of “main establishment” which in turn will determine the appropriate lead authority.

If that isn’t clear, or there is disagreement, it is being proposed that an EU Data Protection Board (EDPB) would have power to make a binding determination.


Continue Reading Data Protection Reform – One Stop Shop Complexity

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The Data Protection Commissioner, Helen Dixon, spoke at the Society for Computers and Law’s ‘The Evolution and Reform of Data Protection’ event this morning. The Commissioner gave an overview of the activities of the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) in 2014 and set out the aims of the ODPC for the year ahead.


Continue Reading Data Protection Commissioner reviews 2014 and sets out plans for 2015

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The Department of Education and Skills is currently creating an individualised database of primary school students; the Primary Online Database (POD). The POD will gather personal data and sensitive personal data about pupils, such as information about ethnic and cultural background, religion, medical conditions, students with special needs and students’ Personal Public Service Numbers (PPSN). The POD will be shared with other state bodies, including the Central Statistics Office, the Department of Social Protection, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Revenue Commissioners.


Continue Reading A permanent record (or at least until you turn 30)

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There has been much debate during 2014 about the effectiveness of the US Safe Harbour regime. Many EU commentators have queried its effectiveness, pointing in particular to the lack of enforcement over the years by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the body which effectively is charged with dealing with complaints that companies are not in compliance with their public representations of adherence to the Safe Harbour principles.

Continue Reading SnapChat Signs Up to 20 Years of Data Protection Audits

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On November 23rd, Symantec, the American antivirus company, announced the discovery of a piece of software called Regin, which it had found lurking on computers and stealing data in Ireland, Russia, Saudi Arabia and several other countries. Its sophistication and stealth led Symantec to conclude that it must have been created by a nation-state.

The

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Audit provisions are a common feature of a wide range of IP and technology agreements. They can be seen by those seeking the audit right as a practical way to monitor key aspects of a commercial deal. Security standards being applied to data, accuracy of billing, compliance with licence restrictions or, in some cases, general