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The new DPC website is currently under construction. Our latest guidance in relation to GDPR, which comes into effect on 25th May, 2018, can be found at gdprandyou.ie and via pages on this website starting with "NEW" as per the navigation pane on the left. All other material on this site relates to the previous legislative regime under the Data Protection Acts 1988-2003 ("the Acts"). While the Acts may continue to apply in some circumstances, as of 25th May, 2018 the GDPR is the primary piece of legislation governing data protection.

Data Protection Commission
Press Release - 20/12/2000

What's New - Data Protection News and Website Updates

New Data Protection Commissioner launches Website

"People need the tools to protect, uphold and know about their Privacy Rights"

The Data Protection Commissioner, Mr Joe Meade, launched his official website, www.dataprivacy.ie, this Wednesday, 20th December 2000, at 11.00 a.m., in his offices in Block 4, the Irish Life Centre, Talbot Street, Dublin 1.

The website will provide comprehensive information and advice on Irish data protection law. The website will be a welcome new resource for two target groups -- members of the public who want information about their privacy rights -- and organisations keeping personal data on computer, who are looking for detailed guidance on their legal responsibilities.

The Commissioner aims to implement additional interactive features, including on-line access to the "public register", which shows the data handling practices of many important organisations and individuals. The computerised public register, which will be put on the website shortly will be available for viewing in the Commissioner's office during the launch.

Privacy Tools for Individuals

For individuals, the new website will explain:

  • how to get a copy of their personal information on computer
  • how the credit rating system in Ireland works
  • what to do about unwanted direct mail
  • how to make a formal complaint to the Commissioner.

Clear Do's and Don'ts for Organisations

  • For organisations, the website provides detailed guidance on:
  • the data protection "rules" that govern the handling of personal data
  • the changes that are likely as a result of the EU Data Protection Directive, due to be implemented in Irish law soon
  • whether the organisation needs to be registered with the Commissioner, and how to go about applying for registration.

The website will also be addressing the specific issues relevant to particular sectors - such as the direct marketing industry (Sample question: "Can we address direct mailings to children?"), and the health and medical sector (Sample question: "Can I disclose patient data to others for research or statistical purposes?").

Reference and resources

The Data Protection Commissioner's website aims, over time, to provide a comprehensive interactive service to the public, in line with the development of e-Government in Ireland. For the present, the website has the following features:

  • legal reference, giving the texts of the Data Protection Act, the EU Directive and other relevant legislation
  • an archive of Annual Reports of the Data Protection Commissioner
  • on-line access to the Case Studies produced by the Commissioner's office over the years
  • official forms available for downloading from the site
  • a comprehensive guide to the offences and penalties a pplicable under data protection law
  • links to other international data protection and privacy authorities
  • on-line feedback form, allowing people to send their queries and comments to us instantly.

For the future, the Commissioner aims to implement additional interactive features, including on-line access to the "public register", which shows the data handling practices of many important organisations and individuals. At present the computerised public register is available for viewing in the Commissioner's office.

Privacy in the Age of E-Commerce

Speaking about the new website, Commissioner Joe Meade said: "My first priority is to give people the tools they need to understand their own data protection rights, and then to help people in upholding those rights. The new website aims to answer all of the questions that people ask about their privacy, and give clear guidance on how people can protect their privacy. Separately, my Office will be engaging with the different business sectors to promote good practice, and the website contains detailed guidance for such data controllers."

On the question of e-commerce, the Commissioner said: "The privacy environment for individuals is now undergoing a sea-change, with the increased popularity of web browsing and the era of e-commerce. This change involves new challenges for a privacy authority, and our new website is the first obvious step in rising to that challenge. While the privacy environment for the public may be changing, the common-sense principles of data protection remain constant.

My Office will be taking new initiatives in 2001 to ensure that the benefits of the internet age are secured without sacrificing the basic human right to privacy that we all recognise and cherish."

Among these initiatives are:

  • on-line access to the public register of data controllers
  • proactive "data protection audits" to assist organisations in complying with data protection law
  • publication of names of organisations found to have breached data protection law.

LINK» click to see text of the Commissioner's speech at the website launch