The Irish data protection regulator is expecting a major cash injection from the government in response to a huge increase in workload if the draft Data Protection Regulation becomes law in its current form.
Currently the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) spends around €1.7m (£1.2m) a year but that could be increased by about two-thirds. It is also expected to open a second office in Dublin, to support its headquarters in County Laois.
Under the EU data reforms, the “one-stop shop” approach means companies doing business in Europe will only have to answer to the data protection authority in the country in which they are based, rather than all the watchdogs in separate states.
But with so many tech businesses setting up their Euro HQs in Ireland – including Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, eBay, PayPal, LinkedIn, Twitter, Salesforce.com, Intel and Oracle – to take advantage of tax breaks, the Irish Commissioner’s workload is likely to explode.
In the UK alone, the Information Commissioner’s Office has a budget of nearly £20m and estimates it is facing a £42.8m black hole in its finances, if the new laws are passed.
Irish MEP Sean Kelly said: “I have worked closely with the Irish government on this matter in the past and an increase in resources for this important regulatory body will display the importance the Irish authorities place in applying robust and independent regulatory oversight to the burgeoning data-driven sector in Ireland.”
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