#AskDara: Talking data protection with Minister Dara Murphy

26 Jan 2017

Data Protection Minister Dara Murphy, TD. Ireland is one of the first countries in Europe to appoint a dedicated data minister. Image: Connor McKenna

Siliconrepublic.com editor John Kennedy interviews Data Protection Minister Dara Murphy, TD, at Twitter’s Dublin offices today, ahead of Europe’s Data Protection Day.

It is 2017 and the issue of data privacy in a world of seismic political upheaval has never been so vital.

From the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation to the passing of the Snooper’s charter in the UK, the looming Brexit and what Trump taking office as US president could mean for the Privacy Shield, there is a lot to talk about.

In the middle of this is Ireland, a country regarded as the data capital of Europe, with more than 30 data centres and the headquarters of the biggest internet giants on the planet.

With this uncertain data privacy landscape to discuss, Siliconrepublic.com editor John Kennedy interviewed Dara Murphy, TD, at Twitter’s Dublin office. Questions were sent in for the Minister of State for European Affairs, Data Protection and the EU Single Digital Market using the hashtag #AskDara.

Ireland in the data age

Ireland is one of the first countries in Europe to appoint a dedicated Data Protection Minister, all the more necessary due to the fact that 29 of the top 30 technology companies on the planet have operations in the country.

Under Murphy, the office of Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon has seen a doubling of its budget as well as a significant increase in headcount, with 45 new people.

The commissioner’s new office was opened in Dublin today (26 January).

The question now is where Ireland sees itself in this data-centric world and how it can manage the privacy of its citizens and the companies based here.

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