Digital technology has now become an essential fixture of almost every facet of modern life, and the need has been identified for dialogue on the societal issues arising from the continuing growth in generation and use of personal data. The Department of the Taoiseach has established a consultative forum to contribute to the discussion in this area.
In seeking to find a balance of voices, the forum brings together experts from a range of different areas: industry, civil society, sociologists, psychologists, legal experts and the public sector. Membership of the forum is on an entirely voluntary basis.
Membership - 2019
Minister Pat Breen T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for Trade, Employment, Business the Digital Single Market and Data Protection.
Ann Henry, Vice Chairperson, Intellectual Property Committee, Law Society of Ireland
Anne Rooney, Head of Public Policy and Government Relations, Google EMEA HQ
Anne Vaughan, Chair, National Statistics Board
Barry Lowry, Government CIO, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Ciaran Conlon, Director of Public Policy, Microsoft Ireland
David Fennelly, Barrister, Law Library
Donal Flavin, Strategic Policy Manager, IDA Ireland
Dualta O’Broinn, Head of Public Policy, Ireland, Facebook
Prof. Eoin O'Dell, Associate Professor, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin
Harry McCann, Founder and Committee Member, Digital Youth Council
John O'Connor, Chair, Irish Branch of the Society for Computers and Law
Karen White, Director Public Policy, Europe, Twitter
Kathleen Stack, Assistant Secretary, Department of Social Protection
Dr. Martyn Farrows, COO, Soapbox Labs
Rob Corbet, Partner, Head of Technology and Innovation, Arthur Cox
Prof. Rob Kitchin, National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis, Maynooth University
Sam Sharps, Apple
Seamus Carroll, Civil Law Reform Division, Department of Justice and Equality
Dr. TJ McIntyre, Chair, Digital Rights Ireland
William Fadden, Data Protection Officer, Revenue Commissioners
Terms of reference for Government Data Forum
In October 2014 the government acknowledged the need for a whole of government approach to the area of the digital economy in the context of emerging global trends that see both society and industry make ever greater and innovative use of personal data as a resource.
Ireland will act internationally as a leader in data protection related issues and will be viewed internationally as a showcase for 'best in class' regulation.
Bearing in mind the new issues, challenges and opportunities which continue to arise in almost every facet of modern life, from the growth of the digital economy and the increasing role of digital technology, a forum comprised of industry, civil society and academia will be established.
The forum is expected to operate in a co-operative and constructive manner, engaging on issues of interest to the sector rather than participant-specific issues. It will be chaired by Dara Murphy, Minister of State with responsibility for Data Protection.
The forum will:
advise on how best to advance the data protection roadmap, particularly in relation to how Ireland could move to achieve the stated aim of being ‘best in class’ in terms of its data protection regime, looking particularly at defining ‘best in class’ in this context
advise on how best to achieve the vision that Ireland will act internationally as a leader in data protection related issues and will be viewed internationally as a showcase for best in class regulation
in doing so, learn from the experiences of forum members, both nationally and internationally
assess and advise on the potential for development and job creation in the digital economy
advise on the research (R&D) and skills development Ireland should prioritise
advise on the potential to harness economic benefit from government data and to promote entrepreneurship from open data tools
examine, advise and assist government understanding on the societal implications of the growth in the generation and use of personal data
advise on how the right balance is found in safeguarding personal information and privacy and fundamental rights
advise on areas where legislative reform may be considered
act as a 'sounding board' for new proposals and proposed changes to the regulatory approach
act as a forum for knowledge sharing and exchange of views
consider other matters deemed relevant to its brief