Ireland is on the verge of subverting GDPR

Ireland is on the verge of subverting GDPR

It is not enough to vote for a law, we have to give ourselves a way to apply it. It’s a kind of feeling Read the report Of the NGO Irish Council for Civil Liberties At the request of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The organization looked at the methods and actions of the Irish Data Regulator and proved with supporting figures that it prevents the effective application of European laws. “GDPR silently fails”NGO terminates.

To better understand the problems, let’s go back a few years. In 2018, Europe voted for a regulation that would place more protection and consent in the collection of digital user internet data: the popular GDPR. This sentence is hailed by the defenders of freedom because it is one of the most desirable in the world in this area.

Among the steps taken by this regulation is to ask each Internet user for their consent before collecting their personal data and to follow their path online to improve marketing and advertising targeting. These are the “Accept” or “Reject” buttons that appear at the entrance of each website.

GDPR also establishes the right of data portability, which means retrieving our data, search history, online orders, etc. from a site.

Ireland, a close friend of the Gaffams

However, the actual compliance with this regulation became more complicated. The number of complaints or inspections increased. However, the distribution of the GDPR control mission has also been established. In each case, the file goes back to the European regulator of the company’s European headquarters. Due to the very low tax rate, Ireland hosts the headquarters of the major digital players.

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The second is to focus on most issues related to personal data, as they dominate the web and digital applications. To name a few, Google’s European headquarters in Ireland (including YouTube, Android, etc.), Facebook (including services from WhatsApp and Instagram), Apple, eBay, Dropbox, Microsoft (owner LinkedIn), Twitter, TickTalk, and Slack.

Although Dublin is a city that has attracted most of the big digital companies, there are few other tax hubs on the continent. For example, while Netflix, Sony, Uber, Zoom, and Snap chose the Netherlands, Amazon and PayPal settled in Luxembourg.

Almost none of the large, most populous European countries where most of these companies operate. IBM is the only one in France, not to mention Critio, an ad targeting company that specializes in cookies.


In most cases it is necessary to turn to the Irish regulator to exercise the rights regarding the collection and use of information. The NGO report summed up all the complaints raised at the European level, and Ireland was certainly the first. The country’s regulator has more than double that of its French rival, the National Commission for Informatics and Freedom (CNIL).

But with so many files facing a heap, the Irish Authority appears to be largely under-resourced. Its budget is lower than the French CNIL, and about five times smaller than the German regulator, which handles about half the cases. If we examine in more detail the workforce and especially the qualified personnel in digital technology, the capacity of public regulators is very small, while these authorities must deal with very powerful multinational companies operating in the infinite field of technology, complex and highly measurable. There are only 28 full-time digital specialists equivalent to Irish CNIL.

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David vs. Goliath

When you have the options of a small business when checking the algorithm of Amazon and Instagram or the trackers investing in Facebook and Google, the encryption of WhatsApp messages, data collected by Dropbox and its uses, when it is not simple, is impossible to overdo.

Once again, if the Irish Authority does not have a large resource in relation to cases to be handled, so do other regulators. The team only has 30 full-time digital specialists in France. Only Germany, with a population of about 100, is above the competition.

With such means, the Irish regulator has thought very little: 98% of the complaints received have not been answered … one of the rare sanctions that has taken dates this summer and affected WhatsApp. The Facebook subsidiary was fined 5 225 million for non-compliance with GDPR because the messaging service shared data with the social network Facebook. Again, the amount of this fine was increased by European CNILs, as the Irish regulator initially offered only 60 million euros …

Lack of willpower?

This is another point raised by the report. In addition to the fact that it is not largely equipped in relation to its workload, the Irish Authority is also ineffective. The NGO compared the methods and sanctions adopted by the Irish CNIL and its Spanish rival. Result: Despite its small budget, the Spanish Data Protection Authority has made ten times more decisions than the Irish. “ In the opinion of the NGO, this shows how much the Irish regulator is a barrier to the implementation of GDPR, preventing it from becoming effective.

“Despite a small budget, the Spanish Data Protection Authority has made ten times more decisions than the Irish.”

This observation is beyond the sole guardians of freedom. The European Parliament voted May asks for a resolution “The Commission will initiate proceedings against Ireland for lack of satisfactory control over the implementation of the GDPR”. In March, he was the equivalent of German Zill, who ran against the slowdown of his Irish rival.

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Often, tax systems are control centers with flexible controls and lighting controls. Ireland gives us another great example.

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