Ireland is the digital capital of Europe, says Minister ahead of crucial Data Summit

25 May 2017

From left: Helen Dixon, Data Protection Commissioner; Gareth Lambe, head of Facebook Ireland; Minister of State Dara Murphy, TD; and Cathriona Hallahan, managing director of Microsoft Ireland. Image: Robbie Reynolds

The upcoming Data Summit will bring ministers, leaders and forerunners to Dublin in June.

The Irish Government is cementing the country’s position as a stakeholder and authority on data and digital with an international Data Summit that will be held on 15 and 16 June 2017.

The event, which takes place at the Convention Centre in Dublin, is being organised by the Department of the Taoiseach and the Government Data Forum.

‘Ireland is now the digital and data capital of Europe, and one of the leading centres of the data world’

It will bring together thought leaders from across the sector to discuss the social, technical and ethical issues that arise in the digitised world, especially trust and privacy.

Dublin’s data ambitions

Among the Data Summit’s key speakers will be Vint Cerf, president and chief internet evangelist of Google, and ‘father of the internet’; Helen Dixon, Data Protection Commissioner; Stewart Baker, a former official in the US Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency; Stephen Deadman, Facebook privacy chief; and Prof Joe Cannataci, UN special rapporteur on the right to privacy.

“As the EMEA headquarters for the world’s leading tech companies and the data capital of Europe, Ireland’s regulatory role in data collection and processing has impacts far beyond Irish shores,” said Minister of State for European Affairs, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Dara Murphy, TD.

“This event will be unique in Europe,” Murphy told

“It brings together leaders, academics, government department heads, lawyers, civil rights activists but also people from the remarkable footprint of digital companies we have here, multinational and indigenous,” he explained.

GDPR comes into place a year from today (25 May 2018) and we wanted to have an event that reflects the ambition we have as a government, and provide a forum to discuss the crucially important elements and work that will have to be done by governments, agencies and people.

“We will also look at the opportunities that this age can present for society in terms of good uses of data.

“Ireland is now the digital and data capital of Europe, and one of the leading centres of the data world,” Murphy said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years