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Mass deportation is a mass breach of EU law

It is in Ireland’s interest (and the interest of the people of the EU) that the European Union endure. It is possible that the European Council http://europa.eu/about-eu/institutions-bodies/european-council/index_en.htm (including Enda Kenny) made a major error on 18th March 2016 (two days ago), undermining the EU. Reputedly, the European Council agreed the terms of a Joint Action Plan with Turkey. Currently, the exact terms of the Joint Action Plan have not been released to the public. Instead, the public has been issued […]

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How does the FTC know what data is being transferred from the EU to the US?

Seal of the US Federal Trade Commission

On the 8th January last, a report caught my eye. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, one of the Federal Trade Commissioners was talking about the Schrems case and its potential economic impact. Commissioner Brill said that the “vast majority of data impacted by Safe Harbour decision is HR data, which impacts jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.” I was struck by this assertion. It seemed unlikely, to say the least, that the volume of data transferred […]

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The Privacy Shield: The deal on EU/US Safe Harbour data that wasn’t there

Cartoon of Safe Harbor wreakage

Yesterday the EU Commission and the US government announced that, having burst past the deadline of Sunday set by Europe’s Data Protection Authorities (collectively called the Art 29 Working Party because that’s how the EU is), they had secured an 11th hour deal on transfers of personal data across the Atlantic. Safe Harbour (and Safe Harbor) was no more, they trumpeted, replaced by something that is spelled the same in English for both parties- The Privacy Shield. These are some […]

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Safe Harbour: Irresistible force meets an immovable object

Aircraft Carrier by Matt Morgan

It’s an old Internet joke, but a good one. It takes the form of a transcript of radio communications at sea. The identity of the two sides shifts depending on who’s telling the story- UK and Ireland, Spain and Portugal etc. What stays the same is that a huge military ship from a powerful imperial nation is told by a little nation’s vessel to change course to prevent a collision. It refuses and demands the other party change course. The […]

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HSE releases handwritten notes of meetings with DPC re eHealth

Handwritten notes of HSE DPC meeting

I have written before about the HSE’s claim that no notes of meetings about the eHealth Individual Health Identifier project with the Data Protection Commissioner’s office existed. As a result of an internal review, the Department has now reversed this position and issued the below sets of (partially) handwritten notes. Outcome of FOI Internal Review HSE and IHI

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European Arrest Warrant Act 2003: Procedures and Problems. “A Serious Trivial Problem”

In the EU, “extradition” is by means of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). Any member state may issue an EAW and request its execution in any other member state. Very serious problems can arise in the system. The EAW system is professedly based on the high regard that the national judiciaries have for each other. In fact, they do not have such a high regard for each other. Notwithstanding, like characters in a Samuel Beckett play, they “go on” with […]

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Misreading Bara: The Irish State’s database crisis

Catherine Murphy TD has done the nation much service in her time in the Dáil. Her most recent efforts to extract information from the State apparatus may have as great an impact as anything she has done. The Social Democrats leader set down a series of Parliamentary questions, asking Ministers if they were aware of the CJEU’s recent Bara judgment and if their Departments had undertaken any database building projects which were effected by it. (Here’s a snappy explainer on […]

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Safe Harbour Decision ruled invalid by CJEU

Max Schrems took his case when the Irish Data Protection Commissioner refused to accept his complaint that Facebook was transferring his data to the US, where he did not believe it was being treated in accordance with EU data protection law. The Commissioner rejected the complaint on the basis that it was “frivolous and vexatious” as they had no power to second-guess a EU commission decision that the Safe Harbour scheme between the EU and US provided ‘adequate’ protection. Today, the […]

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After Bara: All your (Data)base are belong to us

Irish Government database plans may need revision after the CJEU’s Bara ruling.

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After Schrems hearing, Government scraps Cloud Computing plan

Two days after the EU Commission admits to Europe’s top court that they’re not assured of the security of EU citizens’ data when it’s transferred to the US, Ireland’s government scraps their cloud computing plan. I predicted the problems EU data protection law posed for Cloud Computing in this article for the Irish Times from 2009.

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