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Dublin: 6°C Wednesday 29 September 2021

Ireland is now responsible for the privacy of 240 million Twitter users

Or rather, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner is. Rather her than us.

EFFECTIVE TODAY, THE private data of roughly 240 million active Twitter users has become an Irish problem.

The social networking giant has revealed in a blogpost that The Office of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) has officially taken on its privacy-care duties.

“If you live outside the United States, our services are now provided to you by Twitter International Company, our company based in Dublin, Ireland,” reads the post.

Twitter International Company will be responsible for handling your account information under Irish privacy and data protection law.

This means, that while Twitter users’ (outside the US) privacy will henceforth be handled by Twitter International Company, based in Dublin, the standards and laws by which Twitter will be held accountable are Irish.

Or, to put it another way, if Twitter users anywhere in the world outside America have an issue with how the social network is handling their personal data, their first port of call will be with the ODPC.

Ireland’s current commissioner is Helen Dixon who took over the role in September 2014.

Roughly 77% of Twitter’s 302 million active users are based outside America.

Privacy and Twitter is a thorny subject, one which for the most part remains very much a grey area legally.

But with prosecutions for online bullying and hate speech gradually on the increase, it’s an area that is going to become more and more heavily scrutinised globally.

So, no pressure then.

The increasingly important role of Ireland’s Commissioner was acknowledged by the government in last October’s budget, with funding for the ODPC almost doubled to €3.7 million.

Last month, Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems told his court action against Facebook in Vienna that he abandoned his privacy suit in Ireland in order to avoid “the madness of the Irish courts”.

Read: Revenue giving names and addresses to Irish Water

Read: The Data Protection Commissioner is “improving its reach”

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