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Digital Rights Ireland (DRI) intend to serve legal proceedings on the Government in the coming days, claiming that the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) has acted in breach of EU law by failing to ensure that the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) exercises her role independently. The High Court is to be asked to

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Recent high profile security incidents illustrate that no institution or business is immune from cyber attack. A cyber attack on the White House in 2014 resulted in a partial shutdown of its email system. In a reported attempt to extort money from the ECB, email addresses and other user contact information were stolen in 2014. Confidential movie scripts and emails about staff and movie stars were released as part of the 2014 Sony hack. Already this year, the Carphone Warehouse security breach in early August and the more recent Ashley Madison hack have received extensive media coverage.


Continue Reading Cyber risk – the legal landscape

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Model Contracts are standard contractual clauses for the transfer of personal data outside the EU/EEA which have been approved by the European Commission.  They have been approved on the basis that they provide sufficient safeguards for privacy, fundamental rights and the exercise of those rights.  To date two sets of standard contractual clauses for the transfer of personal data outside the EU/EEA from data controllers to data controllers and one set for transfers from data controllers to data processors have been approved by the Commission.


Continue Reading Transfer Tools Post Schrems: EU Data Protection Authorities’ Common Position on Model Contacts

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The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner is to get a €1.2m increase in funding for 2016. Minister for European Affairs and Data Protection, Dara Murphy announced the measure, under Budget 2016, and said that the increased resources are bring provided to "ensure that Ireland continues to have an excellent regulatory and enforcement regime for data protection, and that we are fully equipped to adapt to the ever-increasing pace of change in the digital economy".


Continue Reading Government announces €1.2m increase in funding for the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner

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As has been reported widely in the world media, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) this week declared the EU-US Safe Harbour regime to be invalid. The decision has understandably given rise to a lot of concern among European businesses that transfer data to the US.

In this blog post, we seek to answer the main questions that are being asked following the CJEU ruling.


Continue Reading Data in Disarray: The Aftermath of the Safe Harbour Decision

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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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Those involved in technology deals express differing views on source code escrow. These views range from resignation that the supplier won’t agree to it to the view that even if we do get it, it will only be available on the provided non-negotiable terms or a fear that even if we could get our hands on the code, we wouldn’t know what to do with it. In our experience, the position is not quite as black and white on any of these points. There is an extra aspect to think about in relation to technology offerings which include software as a service and traditional source code escrow may not always be appropriate here. Public disputes on escrow arrangements are few and far between and that’s why a recent English High Court case is worth a read. The decision in the case, Filmflex Movies Limited and Piksel Limited can be accessed here.

Continue Reading Source Code Escrow – Case Law Developments

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Symantec released their annual Internet Security Threat Report (the Symantec Report) last week (available at http://www.symantec.com/security_response/publications/threatreport.jsp) and it makes for alarming reading. The risk of cyberattack is one that has been brought to the forefront of popular consciousness by the devastating cyberattacks on Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014 and the Symantec Report shows that 2014 saw a worryingly exponential increase in the number, severity and sophistication of such attacks.


Continue Reading Symantec Cyberattack Report a timely reminder of increasing Cyberattack risk

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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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Apple Pay: an Introduction

One of the most exciting elements of the Apple iPhone 6 launch in September was the announcement by Apple of the Apple Pay feature. Apple Pay is a near field communication (NFC) based mobile payment system that comes pre-installed on the iPhone 6. NFC technology involves a short-range, low power wireless link evolved from radio-frequency identification technology that can transfer small amounts of data between two devices held a few centimetres from each other. It is the same technology that is behind the ‘tap and pay’ debit cards that have been rolled out by Irish banks in the last number of years.

While Apple Pay was launched with the iPhone 6 in the US, it has not yet been rolled out in Europe with rumours predicting an Apple Pay European launch in 2015.

It is clear that Apple Pay has the potential to be a ground breaking technology that may change the way that consumers use their phones and, indeed, how consumers pay for goods and services.


Continue Reading Apple Pay – Challenges and Solutions