Ireland hosts the European headquarters of a number of U.S. technology firms. The country’s Data Protection Commissioner is investigating hacking attacks as well as how Facebook stores and manages personal information of its massive user database.
In what could potentially be a major development, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner stated, it expects to conclude the first of seven investigations into the company’s use of personal data by the summer of 2019.
In 2018, Facebook’s lead regulator in the European Union had launched three investigations into aspects of a massive cyber attack in which hackers had managed to steal login codes that allowed them to access around 50 million Facebook accounts, including 3 million in Europe.
Since them the Data Protection Commissioner has launched a separate probe into “a large number of other breaches,” including Facebook’s disclosure in December 2018 that a bug may have exposed private photos of up to 6.8 million users.
Its other investigations relates to complaints by Facebook users on how Facebook processes personal data.
“We are looking at different aspects of the collection, the transparency and the use of data” at Facebook, said Helen Dixon, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner to Ireland’s RTE radio in an interview.
“I think the first of those will possibly conclude over the summer – that is our anticipation – and further of the inquiries will conclude in the latter part of the year,” said Dixon.
Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner is also investigating Twitter, Apple, LinkedIn and Facebook’s subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp in relation to their processing of personal data and the transparency of their data processes.
Incidentally, Ireland hosts the European headquarters of a number of U.S. technology firms.
Under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) “One Stop Shop”, the Irish commissioner is also the lead regulator for Microsoft, Dropbox , AirBnb and Yelp.
In its annual report, the commission stated, it plans on hiring 50 additional staff this year to oversee its increased workload.