The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force on the 25th May 2018, replacing the existing data protection framework under the EU Data Protection Directive.
As a regulation, it will not generally require transposition into Irish law (regulations have ‘direct effect’), so organisations involved in data processing of any sort need to be aware the regulation addresses them directly in terms of the obligations it imposes. The GDPR emphasises transparency, security and accountability by data controllers and processors, while at the same time standardising and strengthening the right of European citizens to data privacy.
Raising awareness among organisations and the public aware of the new law will be a combined effort of the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), the Government, practitioners, and industry and professional representative bodies. Over the course of 2017, the DPC will be proactively undertaking a wide range of initiatives to build awareness of the GDPR, in particular providing guidance to help organisations prepare for the new law which comes into force on 25 May 2018.
The DPC is also an active participant in the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) comprising representatives from each EU member state’s Data Protection authority. The WP29 has a central role in providing further explanatory and practical guidance on key provisions of the GDPR.