The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) recently released the results of the second Global Privacy Sweep. Twenty-six privacy enforcement authorities, including Ireland, participated in the Sweep, which examined 1,211 apps. The theme of the Sweep, Mobile Privacy, was chosen due to many privacy enforcement authorities having identified mobile apps as a key area of focus in light of the privacy implications for customers.

The results of the Sweep provide an insight into the extent to which organisations are informing consumers about their privacy policies. The Sweep shows:-

·         Three-quarters of apps requested at least one permission, the most

Continue Reading Mobile Apps – Results of Global Privacy Sweep raise privacy concerns

The High Court, in Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner, 18 June 2014, has referred questions arising to the Court of Justice of the European Union (the CJEU). Judge Hogan has adjourned the High Court proceedings pending the reference to the CJEU. 

The Judge is asking the CJEU to examine two questions:

(1) Whether, as a matter of EU law, the Data Protection Commissioner (the DPC) is absolutely bound by the finding of the European Commission as manifested in Decision 2000/250/EC (i.e. that the Safe Harbour regime provides adequate protection for personal data), having regard to the subsequent entry into force of Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (which provide, respectively, for the right to respect for private and family life, and to protection of personal data) notwithstanding the provisions of Article 25(6) of the Data Protection Directive?

(2) Or alternatively, whether the DPC may conduct his own investigation of the matter in light of the factual developments since that Commission Decision was first published (i.e. the Snowden revelations that data and communications were being intercepted by the NSA on a global scale).

The case is due to be mentioned in the High Court in two weeks before the matter is sent to the CJEU.
Continue Reading Irish High Court refers Facebook Privacy case to European Court

The European Parliament has passed a resolution in response to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance scandal.  The resolution calls for the suspension of the U.S. – EU Safe Harbour Framework immediately, unless the U.S. satisfies the concerns of the EU Parliament.  

However, the Parliament’s resolution does not affect the validity of the Safe Harbour Framework. Only the Commission can renegotiate the Safe Harbour Framework. Last year, the Commission issued 13 recommendations to improve the functioning of the Safe Harbour scheme, and called upon U.S. authorities to remedy these issues by summer 2014 (see

Continue Reading Calls for Suspension of Safe Harbour