Data Protection Commissioner
Data Protection Commissioner

Data Protection Commissioner, Helen Dixon, Issues Guidance on Canvassing, Data Protection and Electronic Marketing

 
In advance of the mooted Dáil Election, Helen Dixon, Data Protection Commissioner, is issuing guidance to candidates for election, and their representatives, on canvassing, data protection and electronic marketing.
Speaking today, 1 February 2016, Commissioner Dixon said, “In any democracy, candidates must be empowered to engage with the voters whom they wish to represent. However, there are obvious potential data protection implications to canvassing, particularly when it takes the form of contact by text, phone call, email or fax which constitutes “direct marketing”. In light of this, I am today issuing guidance to every candidate running for election. The material has also been uploaded to dataprotection.ie.”
 
ENDS

1 February 2016
 
( Link to Guidance here )

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Data Protection – your fundamental right to data privacy


The Commissioner is responsible for protecting the rights of individuals as data subjects and enforcing the relevant obligations upon data controllers. Appointed by Government, the Commissioner is independent in the exercise of his or her functions. Individuals who feel their rights are being infringed can complain to the Commissioner, who will investigate the matter, and take whatever steps may be necessary to resolve it.

The Office was first established in 1989 in Dublin, relocated to Portarlington, Co Laois in 2006 under a government decentralisation programme, and now operates from two locations.

A Government Decision at the end of 2014 enabled the Commissioner to open her Dublin Office, which is temporarily located at Harcourt Road in Dublin and will move to a permanent location on Fitzwilliam Square in 2016.

The doubling of the Office's budget to €3.65m for 2015 facilitated the recruitment of new staff including legal, technical, audit and communications specialists as well as policy and administrative staff. A number of the existing specialists in the legal, technology, investigations and audit roles continue to be based in Portarlington, along with policy and administrative teams. The headcount of the Office now stands at 50.

The further funding of over €1.1m allocated in Budget 2016, bringing our 2016 allocation to over €4.7m, will allow for additional recruitment of specialists throughout the coming year, continuing to increase resources for the various functions of the Office including awareness, investigations, audits and compliance-related matters.

The role and functions of the Data Protection Commissioner are as set out in the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003.