Data Protection Commissioner
Data Protection Commissioner

Office of the Data Protection Commissioner Summer 2017 Internship Programme


The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) invites third level educational institutions (sponsoring bodies) to submit applications of suitable candidates for participation in the DPC’s summer internship programme.

Candidates should currently be undertaking an undergraduate law degree or other degree programme which includes legal studies (e.g. Law & Accountancy, or Business & Legal Studies). Particularly meritorious applications from students studying other disciplines who have an interest in gaining a deeper understanding of data protection law and the role of the DPC will also be accepted.

It is anticipated that a maximum of three placements will be offered to suitable candidates selected by the DPC following an assessment of the applications submitted.

Outline of Duties:

The summer internship programme is a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the data protection regulatory environment in Ireland and an invaluable insight into the role of the office of the Data Protection Commissioner as one of Europe’s leading data protection authorities. Anticipated tasks will include the researching and drafting of policy papers and other tasks to assist the DPC’s preparations for the coming into force in May 2018 of the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the proposed Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications.  

Placement Details:

·      The commitment is for a maximum of 4-6 continuous weeks in total.
  • The placement is a full-time position, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm. In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to work out a more flexible working arrangement, but a minimum of 32 hours a week would be required.           
  • The placement is unpaid and there will be no compensation for any associated costs incurred.

  • The placements will be facilitated in either the DPC’s Dublin or Portarlington offices.

  • Work placement students will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. 


Required skills:

Candidates should have the following skills:
  • Excellent writing and research skills.

  • Excellent organisation and communication skills.

  • Ability to organise time, follow directions and complete tasks in an effective manner.

  • Strong computer skills and proficiency in using Microsoft Office applications.


 Application Process:

Third level educational institutions (sponsoring bodies) should submit an application in respect of each student (up to three in total) wishing to avail of a summer placement with the DPC enclosing the following:
  • Student’s curriculum vitae (no more than 2 pages in length).

  • Covering letter from the student outlining why they wish to undertake a placement with the DPC (no more than 1 page in length).


Applications should be emailed to ‘2017 Summer Intern Placement’ clearly stated in the email subject line. Sponsoring bodies are requested to ensure that the candidates they nominate meet the eligibility criteria. Each sponsoring body should submit no more than three applications in total.

Successful candidates will be selected on the basis of their written application. However, if necessary for the purpose of making a final selection, the DPC may at its discretion shortlist candidates for interview. 

The deadline for applications is Friday 28th April 2017.

About the office of the Data Protection Commissioner

The Data Protection Commissioner (the Commissioner) is the national independent authority with responsibility for upholding the EU fundamental right of the individual to have their personal data protected. Using her statutory powers, the Commissioner and her staff undertake investigations of complaints from individuals, identify risks in terms of personal data protection in a variety of public and private sector organisations through on-site inspections and audits, seek to drive better compliance with data protection legislation through the publication of high-quality guidance, and ultimately legal enforcement where necessary.

Today, more than ever, the pace of innovation in technology drives the activities of the Commissioner and her office. The collection of all sorts of personal data through devices we each interact with on daily basis is near ubiquitous. The prevalence of smart phones, the volume of internet activities we undertake and the CCTV which tracks each of us as we go about our daily lives all contribute to the exponential growth of our digital footprints. The reality of the Internet of Things and Big Data is that data is collected and transmitted at speeds never imagined.

In addition, government continues to increasingly invest in Information and communications technologies in order to better deliver services to citizens and implement policy. The forms of implementation and quantities of data collection, however, can have significant impacts for the data privacy of citizens and require careful regulatory consideration and oversight.

At EU level, a new data protection legal framework has been enacted which will become applicable from May 2018, replacing the existing 1995 EU Data Protection Directive with a modernised code more reflective of the evolving technological climate. In particular, a new General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR) will have direct effect, vastly increasing obligations on organisations and providing for additional and stronger enumerated rights for individuals. Allied to this, a new E-Privacy Regulation will also vest responsibility in the Commissioner for overseeing a range of matters specifically relating to privacy and data protection in the electronic communications sector.  This new legal framework will also form the basis for much greater cooperation between European data protection authorities. In particular, the Commissioner’s role under GDPR will become a central one in Europe as a lead supervisory authority for the regulation of many multinational companies which are established in Ireland.