Data Protection Commissioner faces questions on INM breach

TDs and senators to quiz Helen Dixon next week

Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon is to face questions from TDs next week about an alleged data breach at newspaper publisher Independent News & Media (INM).

Ms Dixon is due to appear before the Oireachtas Communications Committee on Tuesday.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said he would question Ms Dixon on the alleged INM data breach at the hearing.

He described the alleged breach, which is said to have involved scrutiny of staff e-mails, as “hugely concerning” on a number of levels.


“We know that the Data Protection Commissioner considered reports of a data breach at INM in August 2017,” he said.

“We need to know what investigations took place on the back of that and why any investigation that did take place failed to uncover the true scale of the data breach.”

Mr Ryan added that committee members will want Ms Dixon to detail the sanctions that could be applied to such a data breach and the timeframe for concluding such an investigation.

The committee, chaired by Fine Gael TD, Hildegarde Naughton, originally called Ms Dixon to discuss data protection and social media in light of the scandal that hit US company, Facebook.

However, Mr Ryan pointed out that the committee had oversight of all the data regulator’s activities and it would be remiss not to question her in relation to the INM affair.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas