Vulcan Insight

Irish privacy watchdog head Helen Dixon reappointed for 5-year term

31 May 2019

Irish Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon has been reappointed to a second five-year term. Since her appointment in 2014, Data Protection Commissioner Dixon has roughly quadrupled the staff and budget of the regulator.

Ms. Dixon, who started in the role in 2014, is in charge of overseeing the European operations of Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other Silicon Valley companies. Her office is carrying out more than a dozen investigations into potential privacy failings, including several targeting Facebook and one into Google. It is the lead regulator in the European Union, enforcing the General Data Protection Regulation. Ms Dixon said she welcomed the Government’s decision to reappoint her as Commissioner for a second term. “At this early but critical juncture of GDPR implementation and enforcement, continuity is important to drive clarity for organisations around the standards they must meet in order to effectively safeguard the data protection rights of service users, consumers and citizens,” Ms Dixon said. “It is a privilege to serve in this role and to work with the dedicated staff of the Data Protection Commission.

“Our fellow EU data protection authorities count on us to effectively supervise the large internet platforms headquartered in Ireland and we are committed to this task.”

Dixon told a U.S. Senate hearing earlier this year that she had reason to believe American companies had violated the General Data Protection Regulation. She has told Irish media that she expected to submit the first conclusions from these investigations to the European Data Protection Board in July.