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Appointment Of Two New Data Protection Commissioners.

The Minister for Justice, Mrs Helen McEntee TD, has today announced the appointment by Government of two new Data Protection Commissioners, namely Dr. Des Hogan and Mr. Dale Sunderland. Their appointments will take effect from February 20th 2024, for a five-year term.
Dr. Des Hogan has been appointed as Chairperson by the Minister.

The Data Protection Commission has grown significantly in size, scope and responsibility over the last decade. Following a review by the Department of Justice into how best to support this growth, the Government decided to appoint two additional Commissioners, who were selected following an open completion run by the Public Appointments Service.

Minister McEntee said: “The Data Protection Commission has played a pioneering role in enforcing the GDPR across Europe as the lead supervisory authority for a large number of technology and internet platform companies with EU headquarters in Ireland.
The two new commissioners will support an effective and well-resourced, highly-skilled regulator. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has responsibility for a significant body of work. In recent years as GDPR and protection of personal data have moved into mainstream public consciousness, the DPC has seen its workload increase in all areas of the organisation.
Some 85% of the fines issued across Europe last year, including the EU, EEA, and UK, were issued by the DPC on foot of detailed and comprehensive investigations.
This underlines both the DPC’s significant role, and positive record of effective and robust data regulation.
The Government values the DPC’s important and independent role as one of the largest EU data protection authorities and acknowledges its strong track record in carrying out its duties”.

The Government has ensured that the DPC is resourced to carry out its critical and independent role. The Commission received an allocation of €28.1m under Budget 2024, an almost eightfold increase on its previous 2015 allocation of €3.6m.

Minister McEntee also paid tribute to outgoing Data Protection Commissioner Ms Helen Dixon, whose tenure comes to an end on February 19th, 2024, after almost a decade in the post.

Minister McEntee said: “I would like to thank Ms Dixon for the dedication, strength and vision she has shown throughout her time as Data Protection Commissioner.
Under her stewardship, the Data Protection Commission’s size and remit has expanded significantly and is currently staffed with some 222 employees.
Ms Dixon has led the organisation through this expansion and navigated an evolving data protection landscape, following the enactment of the General Data protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018.
I wish Ms Dixon well in her new role as Commissioner in the Commission for Communications Regulation”.

The vacancy for the third DPC Commissioner will be filled, through a new Public Appointments Service competition, as soon as possible.

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