Full Protection of Children’s Data One Step Closer

The full protection of children’s data is now ‘one step closer’ due to the imminent launch of a public consultation on the processing of children’s personal data and their data protection rights under the GDPR.

My colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, has informed me that the Data Protection Commission will, next week, launch a public consultation on the processing of children’s personal data and their data protection rights under the GDPR.

This is a very welcome development. Currently a third of global internet users are children and Ireland is no exception to this trend. As a result, Irish children are subject to significant levels of marketing and profiling by information services and platforms, which also sell on their data.

As Seanad Spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs, I have previously called for a multi-faceted approach to protect our children from being targeted by these unscrupulous commercial enterprise and other more sinister sources.  I have also called for legislation for the establishment of a Digital Safety Commissioner as recommended by the Law Reform Commission in their 2016 report.

 This Public Consultation, to be launched next week, will provide an opportunity for parent groups and child welfare organisations to make submissions on issues concerning the processing of children’s personal data, the safeguards and standards applicable to children, and the rights of children as data subjects.

The aim of the consultation is to promote increased awareness of children’s data protection issues and to establish appropriate standards of protection across all sectors where children’s personal data are processed.

I am laser focused on proactive steps to ensure better protection of children’s data both online and otherwise. As such, I very much welcome this move and look forward to this public consultation launching next week. Full details of the consultation and how to make a submission will be available on the Data Protection Commission website (dataprotection.ie) next week.

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