Ireland sits idly by as GDPR goes unenforced

Originally published at:


Politico shares an investigation into why the GDPR’s lead regulator Ireland has failed to bring a single enforcement action against the big tech companies it is supposed to watchdog.

Ireland basically custom crafted its tax laws to attract big tech to set up shop, and now people wonder why they aren’t policing them? :thinking:


What the GDPR is doing in my big tech shop is making it MUCH more difficult to solve issues for customers. We don’t handle their data, but when they need to get a diagnosis of an issue, dump files, diagnostics logs, traces, etc. are treated like nuclear materials because their might be some potentially PI data buried inside (almost never the case). Some of these data sources are also binary files that need platform dependent tools to make them human readable. So we need ivory tower machines (of all versions of the product we sell) which we can have receive the files, get temporary access, use much poorer environment for diagnosing the data we do have, etc. Anyway, the end result is much more cost with a much poorer outcome in turn-around times for customers for essentially imaginary chances of having any private data shared or held for any period of time. Because the company takes this stuff VERY seriously and isn’t taking any chances on running afoul of the regulations.


Slightly OT: What motivated the choice of the Lucky Charms image for this story?


This might be an overly optimistic view, but in my experience due to the massive fines threatened by GDPR the implementation created a massive firestorm for every tech company as they raced to ensure compliance at great expense. Not to mention the cottage industry of GDPR consultants. Every major tech company I’ve encountered has undergone a major GDPR compliance effort.

So it seems the author of this Politico piece is somehow sure these large tech firms are somehow in violation of GDPR, but without evidence other than “mumble mumble facial recognition something something.” He plainly wants someone made an example of.


Duh. That’s why GDPR picked Ireland in the first place - so they could pretend to be doing something about tech malfeasance, while actually doing nothing, thereby earning the thanks ($$$) from big tech.

Leprechaun? If we’re going that route, though…



What’s that from?

“something something if an EU member fails to follow the follow the rules they get booted!”
(God I hope I am.)

American Gods, season one, Mad Sweeney, a Leprechaun with panache…



At risk of completely derailing the thread, what do you think of the show vs the book?

(I’ve been afraid to risk being disappointed!)

They expand on his ideas from the book a good bit, more vignettes of how the gods got here, but the narrative is different. Much more Mad Sweeney for one, more of Laura, for another. A few different stops, but good on it’s own merits, I’d argue. I like them both, though they differ.


I will say this: I don’t trust the Irish…

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Well, they’re magically delicious. Does that help?


I suppose it could be thought of as offensively racist.


If you think we are happy about this in Ireland you are wrong, this is a big talking point, will probably be one of the things that define the next general election. The rails for this were laid down by Fianna Fáil but under Fine Gael’s neo-conservative control it has truly run rampant. Rest easy knowing this is very unsustainable and will likely collapse in the next few years.

By the way, I really don’t expect a site like Boing Boing to use leprechaun imagery when talking about my country, its borderline racist and pretty offensive. Leprechauns were popularized at the turn of the last century to reinforce images of the Irish being parochial, backwards and stupid. And this banner image covers the same blanket implication. Our policy makers may be cozying up multi-national corporations, which is crap, but lets not go comparing the sins of our respective countries eh?


Google employs about 3000 in Dublin, Apple similar number in Cork. PayPal, Facebook, AirBnB employ thousands in Dublin too. The average salary for a job with a multi-national is €18,000 greater than the national average. Ireland is not going to do anything to piss off big tech. We are a small Rocky island in the north Atlantic with no natural resources.

These tech companies have effective tax rates in the low single digits. The consequences of this is that we pay Scandinavian tax rates but have absolutely shit services compared to the rest of Western Europe.

I know plenty of people (and 95% of politicians) who are happy with the situation. Whoring out our tax policy and insulating tech companies from regulation, so the argument goes, is easier than developping actual Irish jobs.

Edit: I forgot the big one. Intel employs 4000 people and announced last year a billions euro expansion.


A penchant for tired, overused clichés?


Someone felt like being a colossal shithead? Such a breadth of iconography to choose from to depict pay-to-play Irish politics and law enforcement, but no let’s go with this shit.


And I DEFINITELY don’t trust Irish politicians. (And I’m Irish. Really. From Ireland. Not that American “my Great Auntie once kissed an Irishman” crap.)
“Here Michael, what are we going to do about this GDPR business?”
“I haven’t a feckin’ clue, Sean. It’s mad complicated, so it is.”
“Well, I’ll be sittin’ on me hands, like.”
“Your uncle Tim is in one of them big techie firms, isn’t he?”
“He might be. He might be. You wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of him, now.”
“Right, so. He still good for sending us that crate of Jamesons?”
“I don’t see why not. Let’s not do anything to upset him.”
“Right you are, then.”