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#dpconf16


8th Annual

National Data Protection Conference

27-28 January 2016     
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

in partnership with the Irish Computer Society

Conference Report

On behalf of the Irish Computer Society and the Association of Data Protection Officers, we would like to thank everyone who attended our National Data Protection Conference in Ballsbridge on January 27th and 28th. The conference was a fantastic opportunity for the country’s top data protection professionals to discuss important issues in the field of data protection and cybersecurity.

Conference Sponsors


A&L Goodbody
Thortons Secure Schredding
Privacy Engine
Irish Computer Society

Day One of the conference was a huge success, with workshops, covering various aspects of data protection law and policy including Subject Access Requests, Data Retention and Destruction, Breach Handling, Audits and more.

The New Regulations workshop facilitated by Claire Morrissey and Andrea Lawler from A&L Goodbody saw a packed house on the day and understandably so! Our other workshops saw a similar level of popularity, and by day’s end the excitement was definitely growing for Day Two.

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Day Two began with Seamus Carroll discussing new EU GDPR, an excellent presentation that got everyone thinking. The notion of accountability under the new regulation was highlighted as a key concept. Mark Rasdale of A&L Goodbody, followed up on many of Seamus’s points. Together, these presentations clarified what would change for the average organisation under the new regulation.

Although the event coincided with Data Protection Day, Helen Dixon, Data Protection Commissioner, made the point that from this day forward, "every day should be Data Protection Day". This sentiment was well received, given the scale of the changes some organisations will have to make in the coming months.

Giovanni Buttarelli the EU Data Protection Supervisor. Although a short presentation, he made many interesting points in relation to sustainability, accountability and big data/ scalability. His closing point, however, was to "think positive" and to try to prepare for the new regulations as best you could.

After the break Lanre Oluwatona, Data Protection Consultant with ICS, discussed a case study in the Irish health sector. Using the metaphor of an iceberg, he emphasised the importance of knowing your data and the importance of an airtight data protection policy.

Andrea Simmons took a more unconventional approach to the data protection landscape and the new regulation. She claimed that the concepts we have been describing as new have actually been around for decades, and that organisations are taking a reactive approach to what ought to be in place already.

After lunch, Minister Dara Murphy took the stage. He reiterated a lot of what had been covered during the morning session, as well as the contributions his office would be making to the future of Data Protection within Ireland and beyond.

Our afternoon sessions, started with Commandant Damian Griffin of the Defence Forces. He empathised that Data protection in his organisation was a whole different ball game, with breaches potentially costing people their lives. Echoing previous presentations, he claimed that it was people that would be hacked, not devices.

A different perspective was offered by Detective Chief Superintendent Pat Lordan (Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation) and Inspector Michael Gubbins (Computer Crime Investigation Unit). By telling the Gardai when a data breach occurs, they can help through their extensive contacts to reduce fallout and reputational damage.

Brian Honan then discussed some high profile data protection cases and what we can learn from them. According to Honan, these incidents could have been avoided if staff were more aware of the potential dangers to their organisation’s data.

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Speakers and Panelists

Dara Murphy

Dara Murphy TD

Dara Murphy is the Minister of State at the Departments of the Taoiseach and Foreign Affairs with Special Responsibility for European Affairs and Data Protection.

Helen Dixon

Helen Dixon

Helen was appointed Data Protection Commissioner in 2014. She previously held senior positions in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

Helen Dixon

Giovanni Buttarelli

Prior to becoming European Data Protection Supervisor in 2014, Giovanni was Secretary General to the Italian Data Protection Authority.

Seamus Carroll

Detective Chief Superintendent Pat Lordan

Pat plays a senior role in the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation (GBFI).

Seamus Carroll

Seamus Carroll

Seamus is Head of the Data Protection Unit at the Department of Justice and Equality and former chair of the EU Working Group on DP reforms.

Lanre Oluwatona

Commandant Damian Griffin

Damian is a Technical Communications Officer for the Defence Forces with over 20 year’s experience in delivering secure and innovative IT solutions.

Lanre Oluwatona

Lanre Oluwatona

Lanre is Data Protection Consultant and Tutor at the Irish Computer Society, and is the Society's liaison with the Data Protection Commissioner's office.

Fintan Swanton

Andrea Simmons

Formerly Chief Information Security Officer for HP Enterprise Security, Andrea currently helps organisations achieve and maintain security certifications.

Mark Rasdale

Mark Rasdale

Mark is a Partner in the IP and Technology Group at A&L Goodbody where his practice covers a wide range of technology and data protection issues.

Brian Honan

Brian Honan

Brian Honan of BH Consulting is a recognised information security expert whose clients have included various government agencies and the European Commission.

Lucy Masterson

Lucy Masterson

Lucy is CEO of Fundraising Ireland and a natural communicator with a well-established reputation within the business, marketing and non-profit communities.

Claire Morrissey

Claire Morrissey

Claire is a Partner in A&L Goodbody's IP & Technology Group. She has a particular focus on the IP and data aspects of joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions.

Thank You!

Many thanks to everyone involved – speakers, attendees, caterers, etc. We have already begun planning for next year. We know it’s going to be a good one!

Presentations will be available in the Resources section in due course. We look forward to seeing you at next year’s conference


Conference Sponsors


A&L Goodbody
Thortons Secure Schredding
Privacy Engine
Irish Computer Society