Today, it has been 5 months since GDPR came into effect on 25 May 2018, so where is the Data Protection Commission (‘DPC’) up to now?
Since 25 May 2018, the DPC in Ireland has received “1,700 complaints and 2,500 breach notifications have been received, which represents a doubling of complaints and almost three times the number of breach notifications on the same period in 2017” according to a press release from its office on 9 October 2018.
The DPC currently has about 150 open cases that it is dealing with in the area of enforcement and it has just had its budget increased by 30% to €15.2 million for 2019 compared to a budget of €1.9 million just 4 years ago. The additional funding is for the recruitment of an extra 40 staff which will bring the total number of employees in the Data Protection Commission to 180.
In the same press release, the DPC said that the funding was “critical to continuing to build the DPC’s capacity as an internationally respected, professional and effective supervisory authority”.
Commenting on the additional funding, the Commissioner for Data Protection, Helen Dixon, said that the “GDPR demands higher standards of protection for people’s personal information when it is collected and processed by all types of organisations and the role of the DPC is to monitor the application of and enforce the GDPR.”
The DPC in Ireland plays a very important role on the world stage as the EU lead supervisory authority in regulating the many global technology multinationals with European headquarters located in Ireland. Commenting on this key role, the Commissioner stated that “the additional funding will be critical to the DPC’s ongoing effective supervision of these companies and to the expeditious and fair conclusion of investigations into complaints and data breaches relating to these companies. This lead EU regulatory role places the DPC at the frontline of global data protection regulation. The 2019 budget increase is therefore critical to continuing to build the DPC’s capacity as an internationally respected, professional and effective supervisory authority.”