Has the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the key phrase that protects the online privacy of European Union (EU) citizens, been undermined by the Irish regulator’s very weak means? This is, in essence, the conclusion A major study by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, An Irish NGO that compiles data from all EU regulators, including the National Commission for Informatics and Liberties in France.
In terms of GDPR, not all regulators are the same: for many countries in the Union, the regulator of the country in which the company is established is centralized. Germany (Akamai, Palantir), France (Critio, IBM) oversee more cases than average, but this is Ireland, where the European headquarters of Facebook, Google, Apple or Microsoft are located, handling more than 20% of the total alone.
However, the Irish Regulator, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, notes. “No funds for twenty years”, Can contain only a small fraction of these difficult procedures: by its estimates, barely 2% of the cases filed in it have been resolved. But this delay is not only related to the lack of resources, the NGO estimates, as other regulators emphasize. “The Spanish AEPD made ten times more preliminary decisions than the Irish regulator, on a smaller budget”.
The cases handled by the Irish regulator are on average more complicated for some of the largest companies in the world. However, online privacy advocates allege that large tech companies, which have created thousands of jobs in their area, are generally treated more leniently and take advantage of other conditions. In 2016, when the European Commission demanded that Apple pay 13 billion euros in taxes to Ireland, it was repealed in 2020, and the Irish government … took over the case on behalf of the Apple company.
The fines are very low
In the summer of 2021, the Judiciary Committee of the Irish Parliament also mentioned, In a long report, Structural deficiencies considered to be structural at the level of the National Regulator. Members of Parliament recommended more transparency on the part of the authorities “Excessive use of its permissible powers, in addition to refusing fines, to prevent criminals from continuing to process data to ensure compliance with GDPR”.
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