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back to article Irish watchdog won't probe Apple, Facebook over PRISM... but COULD IT?

Is the Irish Commissioner correct to claim that he can’t investigate Apple and Microsoft over PRISM? On Friday, Reuters reported that the Irish Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) had refused to look at the transfers of personal data undertaken by Apple and Facebook to the United States. An Austrian student …

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Silver badge
Black Helicopters

not only Apple

What about all those other 'American' companies who base themselves in Eire (for obvious tax reasons)?

The likes of

Microsoft

Google

Adobe

etc etc

If Apple are investigated then Everyone else should be unless someone somewhere thinks that this is an Apple only problem?

Or maybe the Irish gov are afraid that if they look too closely their 'friends' my decamp to say, Luxemburg?

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Happy

Re: not only Apple

Don't disagree with your sentiments, but be aware that Eire is the gaelic version of Ireland, i.e the whole island.

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Holmes

That's all very well but ....

Thing is, the ODPC don't want to investigate this. They have no intention of doing anything that might even remotely cause one of these companies to look for another home. They really want this whole issue to go away. Their lawyers aren't idiots. They haven't missed something. They've drafted an opinion that provides the necessary legal cover for doing nothing.

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Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Re: That's all very well but ....

oR THEY'VE had A VISit from THE Irish SpOOKs WHO don'T WANt to BE CUt off FROM teH DATA.

(SoRRY for the CAPItaLIsATion, but I KEep recEIVING shoCKS to the GENItals.)

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Bronze badge

Re: That's all very well but ....

Irish spook = taibhse

Good luck to anyone getting the correct pronunciation of that.

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Coat

Re: That's all very well but ....

You LUCKY B@stard!!!!

Still, I was always under the impression that spooks went in through the back door.

Mine's STILL the one covering the suspension harness.

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Happy

Re: That's all very well but ....

pronounced Tie-v-shuh.

Go raibh maith agat!

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Silver badge

Re: That's all very well but ....

YOu really think the US intelligence agencies share any product back with the Irish suppliers?

Why? To ensure that Ireland supports the war on terror? To guarantee the use or Ireland as a nuke missile base ?

I think the trade is more like; here is all the data on everybody in europe Mr NSA. Well ain't that cute Ireland, have a baseball cap

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Anonymous Coward

I understand the British government are in bed with the Yanks and their rather sordid immoral voyeristic lunacy, and couldn't care less about law as long as it keeps their 'friends' across the pond happy.

They've proven they'll happily start shooting people anywhere (like Iraq et al). So a little privacy invasion or 'turning a blind eye to people being extraordinary renditioned to some grubby little American controlled hole somewhere for a bit of torture' is all to be expected from such spineless twats.

I can't understand why everyone elses government is allowing the American government to shit all over the right to privacy of their citizens? What are they afraid of?

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Anonymous Coward

I can't understand why everyone elses government is allowing the American government to shit all over the right to privacy of their citizens? What are they afraid of?

They have the bombs. And their espionage is not shy at all of entrapment to ruin key people's lives if they don't find enough in their personal data already. I don't think you need any more arguments - or reasons why they should be blocked at every single turn they make.

But that's just my opinion as a normal human being who just wants to live his life in peace instead of having it ruined by Wall Street and idiotic wars to protect their currency and then get loaded up with BS aimed at blaming every other nation on the planet for it. F*ck that, and f*ck the brainwashing.

I'll take my tablets now, thank you.

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You clearly don't understand our Eirish neighbours very well. The "gombeen" politicians in Dublin are have their hands in the pockets of these big American corps.

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FAIL

....like politicians in other countries don't??

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Pint

AC 11:02 is right

The US has an annoying tendency to engineer all sorts of weapons systems and then use them unilaterally on anyone and everyone that ever shows them the slightest lack of respect. Unlike many of my fellow enlistees in the US Armed Forces, I had a rather good education in military history from the US Army. One that even a hippie from the 60's would have found refreshingly honest. [It did validate that a career in the US Navy was more suited to my personality.]

Look on the bright side. All these shiny-shiny cyber-weapons and toy-drones just waiting to be used. All for the low price of ____

After that scribbling, I definitely need a beer.

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Anonymous Coward

It's not just this one case - this *regulator* needs investigating

I've had an eye on the Irish regulator for quite some time now, because to me it starts to look more and more that their primary role is not enforcing Data Protection laws, but giving the OK to companies that blatantly break it. You know, more or less like the UK banking ombudsman which is more delaying tactic than help.

I would really like someone to show me a case where the Irish regulator has actually acted to enforce the law and protect personal information, and please don't come to me with the Facebook story because that's exactly the point where it became crystal clear to me what they were really doing, rather than just a vague feeling of unease.

What I want to know is if this is their own initiative, or they are doing on orders of the local government keen to allow businesses almost anything as long as they keep bringing in the cash.

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Devil

Re: It's not just this one case - this *regulator* needs investigating

They did stomp on Sky when they decided they would unilaterally supply all customer info to 3rd parties for Advertising. Curiously Sky wrote to all the Irish Customers explaining this, so I guess the Irish Regulator could hardly ignore the thousands of letters and phone calls. Usually people in Ireland complain on Radio phone ins and to each other and never bother actually making official complaints because:

1) Usually they have no idea who to complain to.

2) A belief that little has changed since before 1921 (same Civil Service?) so it would be pointless.

Compared to the Irish Financial Regulator and Communications Regulator, the Data Protection Regulator is wonderful. The others appear to only exist to raise direct revenue.

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Anonymous Coward

Banking Regulators vs. Data Regulators....

Regulators are all about illusion. They are smoke and mirrors created to placate or baffle the masses, deflecting attention away from the shenanigans of mega-corps.... Our Governments are pro-business, not pro-consumer. In times of austerity, this is especially so. See PPI and Libor Fixing as examples, Governments knew about this a decade ago and did nothing!

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Anonymous Coward

We offer 'Every assistance short being helpful'

I asked the DPC whether or not Google Analytics data was fed into the Big-G's Ad engine?. Their response. We don't know and we don't care. I asked them why Facebook's 'Download your Data' feature omits half my emails? Their response: it doesn't matter to us as users can still trawl through old emails using the UI albeit clumsily without a download feature...

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Anonymous Coward

Irish DPC eerily similar to Irish banking regulator... ?

A. Technically unsophisticated / understaffed in comparison to those they're policing...

B. Toothless when it comes to handing done penalties to offenders....

C. Frequently cosy with those they're overseeing...

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Anonymous Coward

Irish DPC = former Irish banking regulator...

A. Technically unsophisticated / understaffed in comparison to those they're policing...

B. Toothless when it comes to handing done penalties to offenders....

C. Frequently cosy with those they're meant to oversee...

I asked the DPC whether or not Google Analytics data was fed into the Big-G's Ad engine?. Their response. 'We don't know and we don't care'. I asked them why Facebook's 'Download your Data' feature omits half my emails? Their response: 'it doesn't matter to us as users can still trawl through old emails using the UI' albeit clumsily without a download feature...

Regulators are all about illusion. They are smoke and mirrors created to placate or baffle the masses, deflecting attention away from the shenanigans of mega-corps.... Our Governments are pro-business, not pro-consumer. In times of austerity, this is especially so. See PPI and Libor Fixing as examples, Governments knew about this a decade ago and did nothing!

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Anonymous Coward

You quote the UK Act

"Where in any proceedings under this Act a question arises —

(i) whether the adequate level of protection specified in subsection (1) of this section is ensured by a country or territory outside the European Economic Area to which personal data are to be transferred, and

(ii) a Community finding has been made in relation to transfers of the kind in question,

— the question shall be determined in accordance with that finding”.

In other words, when a question arises about the adequacy of protection, the question shall be determined in accordance with "a Community finding (that) has been made in relation to transfers of the kind in question".

My understanding is that the "Safe Harbour" designation represents exactly such a "Community finding" - in other words, the ODPC's hands are tied - Safe Harbour specifies that whatever data protection laws apply in the Safe Harbour location are deemed "adequate". If the NSA access in the US doesn't breach US DP laws (as if!) then there isn't a breach for the ODPC to investigate.

That's exactly what Safe Harbour was designed to do, and the ODPC in Ireland doesn't have the option of ignoring Safe Harbour that was granted by the EU.

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