Regulating the Information Society: Data Protection and Ireland's Internet Industry

David Farrell and Niamh Hardiman (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Irish Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming)

20 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2020

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 10, 2020

Abstract

Ireland has become a global hub for personal information with internet firms headquartered in Dublin collectively holding information on billions of users. But has Ireland been a responsible regulator of the way in which these firms use that data? In this chapter I examine the approach taken by the Irish state, tracing the evolution of data protection governance and its application to the internet industry.

I start by outlining the legal and policy context. I argue that regulation in this area has been hampered by a weak legislative framework and significant under-resourcing. Using Facebook as a case study, I examine how this has in turn prompted international pressure for stronger Irish regulation. I outline the government response to this pressure, and assess the impact of a new commitment to ‘best in class’ data protection regulation. I conclude by arguing that the state has yet to properly engage with the wider issues presented by its new role as a key jurisdiction for the internet industry, with data protection being just one of the aspects which needs more attention as Irish regulation increasingly has spillover effects into other jurisdictions.

Keywords: data protection, privacy, GDPR, Ireland, Data Protection Commission, Data Protection Commissioner, Facebook

Suggested Citation

McIntyre, T. J., Regulating the Information Society: Data Protection and Ireland's Internet Industry (January 10, 2020). David Farrell and Niamh Hardiman (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Irish Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3520101

T. J. McIntyre (Contact Author)

UCD Sutherland School of Law ( email )

University College Dublin
Belfield
Dublin 4
Ireland

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