Data privacy chief warns firms over upcoming EU law

Preparations for the new EU General Data Protection Regulation are “well under way”, according to the Data Protection Commissioner, Helen Dixon.

The regulatory boss was speaking at a seminar on Europe’s upcoming data law which will introduce fines of up to €20m on companies which don’t comply with tighter data protection rules, known as GDPR.
“With May 2018 fast approaching I would urge businesses that now is the time to commence their GDPR-readiness activities,” said Ms Dixon.

“As the national regulator it will be our duty to supervise compliance with the new law, which we are now actively preparing for by investing heavily in building our capacity to administer our new enforcement powers and to meet all of our GDPR responsibilities.”
Ms Dixon was speaking after her office confirmed that it had made fresh contact with Yahoo over reports that the company had engaged in email surveillance at the request of US authorities.

“Businesses should start taking steps to review and revise their policies and procedures,” said John Whelan, head of A&L Goodbody’s technology practice. “The heavy financial sanctions means data protection needs to be treated as a priority corporate governance item.”

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