Majority of 6,624 GDPR complaints deemed valid

Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon

More than 5,800 of the 6,200 complaints received by the Data Protection Commission (DPC) since the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May of last year have been deemed valid.

On the first anniversary of the introduction of the legislation, the office of the DPC said GDPR has given rise to a significant increase in the number of people contacting the office with complaints.

A total of 6,624 complaints were received over the past 12 months with a total of 5,818 valid data security breaches notified.

The DPC said 54 investigations were opened. A total of 35 of these are non-cross-border investigations and 19 are cross-border investigations into multinational technology companies and their compliance with the GDPR.

Some 1,206 Data Protect-ion Officer notifications were received — which resulted in staffing numbers at the DPC increasing from 85 at the end of 2017 to 137 in May 2019.

Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon said the introduction of the GDPR marked the start of a new era in data protection standards across the EU and significantly strengthens the rights of individuals as well as increases the obligations on organisations in terms of how they collect and use personal data.

“The GDPR is a strong new platform from which we can all demand and drive higher standards of protection of our personal information,” said Ms Dixon.

As the national supervisory authority, the DPC is firmly committed to its role in public enforcement of the new law, while also working hard to provide guidance to sectors as they seek to comply with the new requirements.

“The DPC is grateful for the positive and energetic engagement with the GDPR that we have seen from all quarters, particularly from consumers and concerned persons who have raised queries about the processing of their personal data with the office.”

Ms Dixon made her comments as her office confirmed it is investigating whether Google has breached the GDPR in the way it processes user data to provide personalised online advertising.

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