Highlights from the Data Protection Commission’s 2020 GDPR report

On 20 February 2020, Ireland’s DPC (Data Protection Commission) published its second Annual Report under the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), and the first covering a full calendar year of the Regulation. 

Detailing the DPC’s work in 2019, the report revealed that last year: 

  • 7,215 complaints were received – 75% increase on 2018 (4,113 complaints) and a staggering 173% increase compared to 2017 (2,642). 
  • Similar to 2018, the category of Access Requests’ was the highest complainttype received at 29%. 
  • 6,069 valid data security breach notifications were madewhich represents a 28% increase on 2018 (4,740 valid notifications) and a 117% increase on 2017 (2,795 valid notifications). 
  • 83% of these breaches related to unauthorised disclosures. 
  • 712 DPOs (data protection officers) were registered, bringing the total in Ireland to 1,596. 
  • 6 statutory investigations were opened in relation to technology companies’ GDPR compliance. This brings the total number of cross-border investigations to 21 
  • 457 cross-border processing complaints were received (compared to 136 between 26 May and 31 December 2018) through the One-Stop-Shop mechanism, which enables organisations doing business in more than one EU member state to lodge complaints with a single supervisory authority. 
  • The DPC’s staff numbers increased to 140 (up from 110 at the end of 2018 and 85 at the end of 2017). 

Throughout 2019, the DPC carried out an extensive consultation on the processing of children’s personal data and the rights of children under the GDPR; 80 responses were received. The feedback will be used to develop guidance and a code of conduct on the processing of children’s personal data, which is one of the DPC’s priorities for 2020. 

In August 2019, the DPC published the findings of its investigation into the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s processing of personal data in relation to the Public Services Card, which related to two issues: legal basis and transparency. After the Department rejected the findings, the DPC issued an enforcement notice, which has since been appealed by the Department. The appeal is expected to be heard in 2020. 

There are also a number of case studies throughout the report, which provide an insight into the DPC’s approach to data protection obligations. 

If you would like to know more about how the matters detailed in the Annual Report will affect you and your organisation in 2020, please contact us at 00 800 48 484 484 

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