Data and Goliath: can the Irish watchdog hold its own?

Controversy is raging in Europe over the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s ability to curtail the power of Big Tech, and it is doing untold damage to the country’s reputation

Helen Dixon previously gave an unvarnished view of the need for reform of the office and outlined the risk to Ireland’s reputation if no sufficient actions were taken to address the problem. Picture: Bloomberg

When the regulation of Big Tech is discussed in Brussels, Irish representatives are getting used to hearing passing remarks that range from criticism to insults.

Recent months have been bruising for the reputation of the country as the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner’s (DPC) ability and willingness to protect the privacy rights of EU citizens have been disparaged.

While many of the criticisms are long-standing, the recent series of stories impugning the office of ...