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Statement of Minister for Justice Helen McEntee on planned departure of Data Protection Commissioner

Statement of Minister for Justice Helen McEntee on planned departure of Data Protection Commissioner

The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee TD has today paid tribute to Helen Dixon, Data Protection Commissioner, following her announcement that her term as Data Protection Commissioner will end on 19 February 2024.

Helen Dixon was appointed in 2014 and is currently in the final year of her second term as Data Protection Commissioner.

Minister McEntee said:

"I would like to thank Helen for the dedication, strength and vision she has brought to her tenure as Data Protection Commissioner.

When Helen was appointed almost a decade ago, the then Data Protection Commissioner was a small office with a team of 27. Since then, the Data Protection Commission’s size and remit has expanded significantly and is currently staffed with over 215 employees.

Helen has led the organisation through this expansion and an evolving data protection landscape following the enactment of the General Data protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018.

The DPC has played a pioneering role in enforcing the GDPR across Europe as the lead supervisory authority for a large number of technology and internet platform companies with EU headquarters in Ireland.

Two-thirds of the fines issued across Europe last year, including the EU, EEA, and UK, were issued by the DPC on foot of detailed and comprehensive investigations.

This underlines both the DPC’s significant role, and positive record of effective and robust data regulation.

Ireland has much to be proud of terms of our leadership in a challenging and rapidly evolving digital data protection landscape across Europe, under Helen’s expert stewardship.

In recognition of the important role played by the DPC, my Department has sought to ensure that the Commission continues to have the resources required to fulfil its important, statutory obligations. To that end, Departmental funding to the Data Protection Commission has risen steadily and consistently over recent years.

With Helen’s second term of office due to end in 2024, I am delighted that our public service will continue to benefit from her experience, expertise and leadership following her departure from the DPC in February next year.

I would like to wish Helen well in her new role as Commissioner to the Commission of Communications Regulation."