The Minister of State for European Affairs, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Dara Murphy T.D., today officially launched the Data Summit Dublin 2017, a pioneering international conference which aims to stimulate a far-reaching and inclusive conversation on the ever-expanding role of data in modern society.

Organised by the Department of the Taoiseach and the Government Data Forum, the Data Summit takes place from 15th to 16th June 2017 in the Convention Centre and brings together thought-leaders from the data world to discuss wide-ranging social, technical and ethical issues that arise in an increasingly connected and digitised world, from discussions on the future of privacy and trust in the digital age to how we can realise the potential of data to deliver social good.

Among the Data Summit’s key speakers will be Vint Cerf, President and Chief Internet Evangelist of Google, as well as the Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon, Stewart Baker, a former official in the US Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency (NSA) and Professor Joe Canatacci, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy.

With the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) due to come into effect from 25 May 2018, the Data Summit, a CPD accredited event, will prove timely in ensuring organisations in Ireland are prepared for the enhanced obligations in the processing of data.  The Data Summit will also promote a greater awareness of individuals’ data protection rights and how people can manage their own privacy in an online world. This is particularly pertinent given that people regularly accept terms and conditions pertaining to data use without fully understanding the consequences.

By hosting the Data Summit in Dublin, Ireland is afforded a unique opportunity to showcase its leadership in the digital and data protection sphere. As the EMEA headquarters for the world’s leading tech companies and the data capital of Europe, Ireland’s regulatory role in data collection and processing has impacts far beyond Irish shores.

In welcoming the Data Summit, which is being organised by his Department, the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D., said: “We are well recognised for our strengths in the areas of data and digital technologies.  We are one of the first countries to have a Minister with responsibility for data protection which is in my own department and we have reformed the Data Protection Commission Office with resources, offices and staff. The Data Summit is the ideal opportunity to showcase and build on our strengths and to demonstrate our commitment to having important discussions about the role of data in modern life and what this means for us as businesses, as parents, as educators and as a society.”

Speaking at the launch of the Data Summit, Minister Dara Murphy T.D. said: “As the Data and Digital Capital of Europe, Ireland is best placed to kick-start a global conversation on how to strike the right balance to encourage data innovation and maximise its potential, while ensuring that privacy is protected. This discussion is particularly fitting given the ongoing development of the EU Digital Single Market and the implementation of the GDPR; now just a year and a day away. As Ireland’s data-driven society evolves businesses, NGOs and public bodies will need to be more aware of how they manage and protect data.”

Helen Dixon, the Data Protection Commissioner said: “I am delighted to be invited to present alongside the excellent panel of speakers at the Data Summit Dublin 2017. With the General Data Protection Regulation due to come into force next year,  it is no exaggeration to say we are entering a new era of accountability for organisations – public and private – in terms of how they collect and process personal data. Equally, data protection authorities like the Irish DPC are being given significant new enforcement powers under this harmonised data protection law for Europe, which will enable us to drive compliance and ensure individuals maintain a level of control over the processing of their data. I look forward to discussing this game-changing piece of legislation and debating how we ensure data privacy as new technologies emerge.”

Those interested in attending the Data Summit are urged to register now. A number of places are remaining. Discounts are being offered for students and representatives of the charity sector. Competitive rates are also available for both private and public sector delegates. The link to registration can be undertaken here.


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