Ireland now ranks second among European countries for issuing fines to companies and organisations under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), law firm DLA Piper has found.
In the past twelve months alone, 6,802 data breaches were reported to the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), ranking sixth highest in Europe and fourth highest on a per capita basis, according to research by DLA Piper.
Criticism of Ireland’s Pace and Approach
Ireland currently homes some of the world’s largest tech and data companies, meaning that Helen Dixon, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner, plays a substantial role in GDPR enforcement across Europe. While many European counterparts have been critical of Ireland over the pace and approach with which these infringements are dealt with, Ms Dixon has requested more resources to better deal with the breaches.
In September of last year, the second largest ever fine of €225m, currently under appeal, was imposed by Ms Dixon against communications app WhatsApp for ‘severe’ breaches of relevant privacy legislation under GDPR. This fine shot Ireland up to second in Europe for total fines under GDPR to date.
“Rigorous Data Protection Laws”
“It is four years since the implementation of GDPR and we are now seeing significant fines imposed for a wide range of infringements of Europe’s rigorous data protection laws,” John Magee, partner and head of data protection and information security at DLA Piper Ireland said.
“Regulators have issued record fines surpassing €1bn euro and Ireland now ranks second overall for total fines to date, demonstrating the significant position and influence of the Data Protection Commission (DPC) in the EU. Given that Ireland is home to some of the world’s largest-data businesses, there is no doubt that the DPC will continue to play a central role in the enforcement of GDPR in Europe.”
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*