Fit for purpose? Can the data regulator handle GDPR

Helen Dixon says her office needs to at least double to cope with its expected workload

Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon: from Friday she will have attention-grabbing fines at her disposal. Photograph: Seán Breithaupt and Yvette Monahan/Getty Images

Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon: from Friday she will have attention-grabbing fines at her disposal. Photograph: Seán Breithaupt and Yvette Monahan/Getty Images

It has come a long way from having just 26 staff in an office next to a Centra in Portarlington but not far enough if the State’s personal-data protector has to police a new European Union law that covers 500 million citizens.

Anyone monitoring an email inbox over recent weeks will understand the scale of the task facing Helen Dixon, the Data Protection Commissioner, and her now 100-strong staff as they oversee how businesses are complying with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) after it comes into effect today.

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