Data Protection Commission to receive €2 million extra funding

Budget 2021: Digital privacy watchdog has had ten-fold increase in funding since 2014

Helen Dixon Data Protection Commissioner. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Helen Dixon Data Protection Commissioner. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

The Data Protection Commissioner is getting more than €2 million extra next year, giving the digital privacy watchdog a tenfold increase in funding since 2014.

Budget 2021 estimates show that the commission, headed by Helen Dixon, will get €19.1 million next year, a 13 per cent increase on this year’s €16.9 million allocation.

The pledge means that the office’s budget will have multiplied by 10 since 2014, when the Government provided it with €1.9 million.

Welcoming the news, Ms Dixon pointed out that her office was at the “frontline of EU data protection” and said that the extra cash would help the organisation build its capacity.

Tech giants Facebook, Google, Linkedin and Twitter all have European operations in the Republic, making the Data Protection Commission responsible for policing their activities.

The office said that the 2018 introduction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation significantly increased its work, resulting in 85,000 contacts, 16,000 complaints, 14,000 breach notifications and 3,000 requests for guidance.

“2021 promises to be another extremely busy year at the Data Protection Commission,” said Ms Dixon.

She added that next year’s allocation would allow it continue with work including completing a new case management system and further developing its information technolog systems.