Data Protection Commissioner to broach online privacy in public debate

17 May 2012

Billy Hawkes, Data Protection Commissioner

Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes, who spearheaded the global audit of Facebook’s privacy measures, will be speaking at a public debate tomorrow night at Dublin’s Science Gallery.

Hawkes will appear alongside Tom Murphy, co-founder and director of and Paul Dwyer, cyber threat adviser. The debate as part of the Digital Rights Forum will be chaired by editor John Kennedy.

In December, following an audit that arose from 22 complaints lodged by Austrian lobby group Europe Versus Facebook, the DPC and Facebook agreed to ‘best practice’ improvements to be implemented over six months, with a formal review happening in July 2012.

The Digital Rights Forum is a public debate where a panel meets to discuss important issues surrounding digital rights.

Last month, the event focused on the controversial signing of the statutory instrument amending Irish copyright law that critics dubbed ‘Ireland’s SOPA’. Innovation Minister Sean Sherlock, TD, Tom Murphy, Simon McGarr and Paul Durrant attended the event, where a fiery debate ensued.

Tomorrow (Friday, 18 May) the event will tackle the issue of online privacy. Doors open at 5.45pm. Tickets are free and available immediately but are limited to a first-come, first-served basis.

A live stream will be available on the day for those that cannot attend. will also have video highlights available next week.

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