The leader of the country whose government presides over the data protection compliance of a host of global social media sites uses Gmail for government business.
Let’s just think about that for a second. The guy uses a service who in a 2013 filing, while defending a data-mining lawsuit, said that people have “no legitimate expectation of privacy in information” voluntarily turned over to third parties.
Ireland sits next door to the most surveilled society on the planet who last week passed into law the most intrusive surveillance laws ever enacted in a democracy. This is what the British have publicly declared they are willing to do to their own citizens and foreign residents and they even had the audacity to spin “that the protection of privacy is at the heart of this legislation“.
What do you think they might have in their more covert bag of tricks for use on foreign governments?
One wonders why the Irish so close to the British geographically are as so far removed from realising the national security implications of having a kindergarten knowledge level with respect to mass surveillance, industrial espionage and cyber security.
The whole sorry mess and the puerile responses from the PM’s spokespersons made to queries regarding the Irish prime minister’s use of the service were widely covered in the last two weeks by The Irish Daily Mail and The Irish Mail on Sunday in articles by Senior Reporter Seán Dunne.
How much of Ireland’s bargaining strategy with respect to the Brexit negotiations will the British authorities possess foreknowledge of when a teeny-bopper hacker who took a few hacking 101 classes at the local tech could access the comms of the Irish politicians centrally involved in the discussion.
This blog has made it’s view of Ireland as a Privacy Advocate and the abilities of the Office of the Data Protection Commission in Ireland well known.
The office of the Data Protection Commissioner in Ireland was established under the 1988 Data Protection Act. The Data Protection Amendment Act, 2003, updated the legislation, implementing the provisions of EU Directive 95/46.
The Acts set out the general principle that individuals should be in a position to control how data relating to them is used. The Data Protection Commissioner is allegedly responsible for upholding the rights of individuals as set out in the Acts, and enforcing the obligations upon data controllers.
The Commissioner is appointed by Government and is allegedly “independent” in the exercise of his or her functions but has fallen foul several times to allegations that they are inherently political in their motives and policy.
The DPC have been censured by The High Court in Ireland regarding their a decision to refuse to investigate a data privacy complaint by Austrian law student Max Schrems against Facebook and his attempt to expose the cosy attitude to abuses of Safe Harbour.
Digital Rights Ireland have also claimed in a 2016 lawsuit that the Irish State has not properly implemented EU legislation on data protection. They claim “Ireland’s data protection authority doesn’t meet the criteria set down by the EU case law for true independence,” it added “As the Irish government has refused to acknowledge this to date, we are turning to the courts to uphold Irish and EU citizens’ fundamental rights.”
The group also claims Ireland has not properly implemented EU legislation that requires data protection authorities to be genuinely independent from the government.
DRI had previously taken a case to the Court of Justice of the European Union that led to an EU data-retention directive, then the basis for Irish law, being thrown out in 2014.
Facebook love the Irish Data Protection Commission as do all the other social media giants who not only get a free run enjoying multi-billion dollar tax breaks while the people of Ireland pay for their free ride with swingeing austerity.
Last week I received an email from Twitter and when I clicked the link I read:
The section above that I have highlighted and italicised prompted me to tweet:
I followed this tweet up with an emailed request for clarification – which much like my many failed attempts to acquire the elusive “Blue Tick” was met with a stony silence. Which is code I think for “Please go away Mr. Penrose you are a massive pain in the neck”.
I also sent an email to the lovely Ms. Dixon, Irish Data Protection Commissioner requesting a comment. Do I need to tell you what I received? Well – just in case you own an irony bypass – I received nothing.
When regulation is in the hands of amateurs and when policy is set on subjects by people with no qualifications in the matter and when both of them are in the pay of those they are inspecting then what hope do we have really? Again recognising that some do not recognise rhetorical questions, the answer is that we have none.