Ireland: Data Protection Update – New Legislation

This update details legislative developments in European Data Protection legislation, namely the entering into force of the following:

  1. Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (the "GDPR");
  2. Directive (EU) 2016/680 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Council Framework Decision 2008/977/ JHA ("Police and Criminal Justice Authorities Directive"); and
  3. Directive (EU) 2016/681 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the use of passenger name record ("PNR") data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime ("PNR Directive").


On 6 April 2016 the Council of the European Union published the final text of the GDPR. The GDPR will enter into force on 24 May 2018, two years after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union ("OJ") and it will implement a harmonised data protection regime throughout the EU. The EU institutions agreed the text of the GDPR in December 2015 and this text was then translated and refined for publication in the OJ.

The GDPR will replace Directive 95/46/EC (the current European data protection law), on which the primary Irish data protection legislation, the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003, is based. The GDPR contains a number of provisions which will serve to increase accountability of data controllers and processors including expansion of the duties of data controllers and processors; increased reporting obligations; and strengthened individual rights. Please see our "Group Briefing – February 2016 - European General Data Protection Regulation Agreed – Headline Changes" for a more detailed analysis of the changes introduced by the GDPR.

The differences between the texts of the December 2015 GDPR and the final form GDPR as published in the OJ are limited to semantic corrections and clarifications in order to facilitate the efficient implementation of the GDPR in the Member States.


After three years of trilogue negotiations between the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council, an agreement was reached in December 2015 on the final text of the Police and Criminal Justice Authorities Directive in relation to data protection in the police and justice sectors. The Police and Criminal Justice Authorities Directive creates a coherent framework for data processing activities performed for the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, including the safeguarding against and the prevention of threats to public security.

As Directive 95/46/EC (the current European data protection law) does not apply to the processing of personal data in the course of an activity which falls outside the scope of European Community law and the Framework Decision 20008/977/ JHA does not regulate internal data processing activities of law enforcement, the Police and Criminal Authorities Directive bridges this legislative gap. Member States have a two-year period in which to implement the Police and Criminal Justice Authorities Directive into their national law; Member States must adopt any relevant legislative acts for compliance with the Directive by 6 May 2018.

The Police and Criminal Justice Authorities Directive harmonises the laws in the Member States in respect of the exchange of information between police and judicial authorities, whilst leaving discretion in specific areas (for example, penalties for breach of the Directive) in order to respect the different legal traditions of the Member States. The Directive applies to both cross-border and domestic processing of personal data and it aims to improve cooperation of the Member States in the fight against terrorism and other serious crime across the EU, in that, it guarantees that personal data transferred outside the EU by criminal law enforcement authorities will be adequately protected. The key principles of processing personal data only when necessary, proportional and pursuant to a specific purpose are also reflected in the Directive.


The PNR Directive aims to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute terrorist offences and serious crimes by regulating the transfer of PNR data from airlines to Member States as well as the processing of PNR data by competent authorities in the Member States. The PNR Directive was adopted by the Council of the European Union on 21 April 2016 and will enter into force on 24 May 2018. Member States will be afforded two years (i.e. until 24 May 2018) to align their national legislation such that it is in compliance with the PNR Directive.

Under the PNR Directive, airlines and air carriers will be required to provide Member States' authorities with PNR data for flights entering or departing the EU. Member States will also be permitted (but not required) to collect PNR data from intra-EU flights and such collection of data should be notified to the Commission. PNR data may include the name of the passenger, travel dates, travel itinerary, ticket information, contact details of the travel agent through which the flight was booked, means of payment used, seat number and/or baggage information.

Member States will also be required to establish a Passenger Information Unit ("PIU") to deal with PNR requests under the PNR Directive. Such PIUs must are also obliged to appoint a data protection officer. Data collected by the PIU will be stored for six months initially, after which the data will be anonymised. The data will then be stored for a further period of four and a half years.

While Member States' law enforcement bodies are already using PNR data for law enforcement purposes, the PNR Directive will create a common approach across the EU including in relation to: the purposes for which PNR data can be processed in the context of law enforcement; exchange of PNR data between the Member States and third countries; storage of PNR data (as detailed above); transfer the PNR data from the air carriers to the PIUs; and safeguards relating to the protection of privacy and personal data.

This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.