We told you data protection wasn't going away! On 12 May last the General Scheme of the Data Protection Bill was published. 

This follows on from GDPR and is the legal instrument that gives effect to the relevant provisions of GDPR in Ireland. GDPR provides that in some areas Member States can enact local laws to supplement or deal with certain topics in a particular way. 

One of the main provisions of the General Scheme is that it will replace the current Data Protection Commissioner with a new body which will be known as the Data Protection Commission. This new commission will have up to 3 individual Data Protection Commissioners and will have significant enforcement, investigation and monitoring powers. 

The General Scheme gives further guidance on how GDPR will be implemented in Ireland. It also provides that further legal instruments may be put in place to deal with certain areas. It sets out that further legislation may implement potential exemptions available under GDPR but unfortunately it does not give further detail on what exemptions will be put in place. 

Other areas the General Scheme deals with include:

- certain exemptions where processing is for journalistic purposes or for academic, artistic or literary expression

- administrative fines

- privilege is extended to both legal advice and litigation privilege

- the liability of directors and officers

- details on prosecutions and awards of legal costs

- the Minister's power to declare mandatory Data Protection Officers for certain categories of controllers

- fines for public bodies and authorities

- international transfers and the Minister's power to block

- that derogations will be available from some sections of GDPR where appropriate safeguards are in place  

There is still a lot of detail to be fleshed out for organisations on the application of GDPR in Ireland. We will continue to monitor this space and keep you up to date on Irish legal developments. 

If you need advice on data protection and GDPR compliance please contact a member of our Employment Law & Data Protection Team.

Disclaimer:This article is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. No liability is accepted by Leman Solicitors for any action taken or not taken in reliance on the information set out in this publication. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this publication. Any and all information is subject to change.