Helen Dixon is Ireland’s new Data Protection Commissioner

10 Sep 2014

Registrar of Companies Helen Dixon will be taking over the role of Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner from Billy Hawkes over the coming weeks.

The Irish Government today announced the appointment of Dixon, who has held the post of Registrar of Companies since 2009.

Hawkes, who retired last month, served as Data Protection Commissioner since 2005. The Irish Independent reported that more than 30 people are understood to have applied for his job.

Dixon also previously worked in senior roles at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and in the private sector, where she worked at two US multinationals companies with EMEA bases in Ireland, the Government said in a statement. 

Dixon has a degree in applied languages (French/German), and master’s degrees in European economic and public affairs and in governance and a post-graduate diploma in computer science.

Role of the Data Protection Commissioner

The Data Protection Commissioner is responsible for upholding the rights of individuals as set out in data protection acts, and enforcing the obligations upon data controllers.

The position has huge reach because of its role in policing privacy protection and data security at companies based in Ireland, including the European operations of technology giants such as Apple, Google and Facebook, The Irish Independent reported.

Data protection image via Shutterstock

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Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic