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Data Protection Commission


Data Protection Commissioner signs Memorandum of Understanding with U.S. Federal Trade Commission

The Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Chairwoman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Edith Ramirez. The aim of the MOU is to support increased cooperation and communication between the two agencies in their efforts to ensure protection of consumer privacy and data protection rights.

The FTC is the chief U.S. consumer privacy agency. The agency's comprehensive privacy program uses law enforcement, research, policy initiatives, and consumer and business education to protect consumers' personal information. Its functions mirror those of the Commissioner in the area of data protection.

Speaking after signing the MOU, the Commissioner said that "Given the increasing data flows across borders and the ever-increasing complexity and pervasiveness of information technologies, I very much welcome this important development which I believe will be of valuable assistance to my Office both as a basis for the sharing of experiences and knowledge of issues encountered by both agencies in their interactions with consumers and businesses and also in relation to cross-border enforcement cooperation where necessary".

The Commissioner looks forward to increased international cooperation on data protection matters which he expects will assist companies to continue to do business internationally while meeting their data protection responsibilities.


For more information, please contact:


Ciara O'Sullivan

Office of the Data Protection Commissioner Office of Public Affairs


Email: media@dataprotection.ie

Phone: +353 (0)57 868 4800

Link to Memorandum of Understanding

Note to Editors:

Many U.S. multinational companies have subsidiaries in Ireland. There is also significant investment by Irish companies in the U.S. It is important to both agencies that these companies respect the privacy rights of their customers and comply with applicable law.

The MOU is a framework for voluntary cooperation and will not change existing law in either country.

The two agencies have, prior to the signing of the MOU, previously cooperated informally on cross-border policy and enforcement bilaterally, through the London Action Plan (LAP, an anti-spam network) and through the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN).