Data Protection Law
The entry into force of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights made data protection one of the fundamental rights of all Europeans. Article 8.1 of the charter provides:
“Everyone has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her”
Article 8.2 of the Charter goes onto outline what a right to data protection means, stating that personal data:
“…must be processed fairly for specified purposes and on the basis of the consent of the person concerned or some other legitimate basis laid down by law. Everyone has the right of access to data which has been collected concerning him or her, and the right to have it rectified”
As noted above the EU Commission has proposed a regulation and a directive to give effect to these rights and to discharge its obligations under Article 16 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU
As present Ireland has a number of different data protection laws:
- The Data Protection Act, 1988 which gave effect to the Strasbourg Convention on data protection.
- Data Protection (Amendment)Act 2003 which amended the 1988 Act to fully implement the Data Protection Directive 95/46. Most of the 2003 Act came into effect on the 1st of July 2003 by virtue of the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003 (commencement) order 2003 with the exception of s4(13) (Criminal Offences) and s.16 (Registration).
- An uncertified and informal consolidation of the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 is available.
- The ePrivacy Directive, which deals with data protection in the telecommunications sector (now referred to as Electronic Communications Networks or ECN). This is Directive 2002/58, as amended by Directive 2009/136. It is implemented in Ireland by S.I. No. 336 of 2011, the European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks and Services) (Privacy and Electronic Communications) Regulations 2011
- Exchange of data by the police and judiciary within the EU are regulated by Council Framework Decision 2008/977 on the protection of personal data processed in the framework of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matter
- Data Protection Commissioner’s webpage – www.dataprotection.ie
- Data Protection Commissioner’s 2013 Annual Report.