‘Government remiss in Data Protection Bill delay’

The Government has been criticised for the “unacceptable” slow pace of the Data Protection Bill ahead of the introduction this month of a major EU law to combat data misuse.

Data protection specialist Noel Doherty said the Government had known for two years the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), comes into effect on May 25, yet it is in a race against time with its own bill.

“The Government has been remiss in the delay in bringing the Data Protection Bill forward to provide the framework for the application of the GDPR in Ireland,” said Mr Doherty.

“The GDPR was published in May of 2016 and EU member states were given two years to bring legislation forward. Yet here we are in May 2018, awaiting legislation that will affect individual rights, commercial decisions and the very nature and practice of how small and large businesses operate in respect of personal data.”

The regulation is designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe and to protect citizens’ data privacy. It not only applies to organisations within the EU but also to firms that do business inside member states.

If companies fail to comply with the regulation, they can be fined up to 4% of annual global turnover, or €20m.

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