Ireland needs to become a leader in data protection (video)

28 Jan 2015

Pictured: Irish Computer Society CEO Jim Friars talks with editor John Kennedy

Ireland’s decision to appoint a Data Protection Minister is a statement of intent in terms of how seriously the country is taking data protection, the chief executive of the Irish Computer Society Jim Friars said.

Speaking with at the 7th Annual Data Protection Conference at Dublin Castle on the occasion of International Data Protection Day, Friars said that new legislation on data protection is coming and we need to be ready for it.

At the heart of the issue is consent, and moving from implied consent for what internet companies do with your data to explicit consent as agreed by users.

“There are some questions abroad about whether or not Ireland is taking seriously it seriously enough but I think that Ireland has a unique way of communicating about it but I think we are getting there.

“We need to be seen as trustworthy and a place that implements the new legislation and takes on the responsibility.”

He said that given the fact that Ireland has nine out of 10 of the world’s biggest born on the internet companies operating in the country, it is an opportunity to take a leadership position on data protection.

“We can be the good communicators that Ireland has always been about how to comply,” he said.

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