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Data Sharing Arrangements

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 11 July 2018

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Ceisteanna (480)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

480. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the measures he has taken in his Department further to the Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform's statement (details supplied) that the Data Sharing and Governance Bill 2018 is needed to provide a legal basis for certain data transfers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31618/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Data Sharing and Governance Bill is the responsibility of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and was published on 8 June 2018 and is currently at Report Stage in the Seanad.

The purpose of the Bill is to promote and encourage data sharing between public bodies by providing a statutory framework for data sharing for legitimate and clearly specified purposes that are compliant with data protection law; and to improve the protection of individual privacy rights by setting new governance standards for data sharing by public bodies. 

National and EU data protection law requires that data sharing needs an explicit legal basis. Data sharing is currently carried out by the public service under existing sectorial legislation.

Access to the legislative schedule is limited, however, and, as a result, the process of obtaining any new powers required to share data can be very slow for public bodies. Furthermore, the reliance on sectorial legislation for sharing has resulted in a piecemeal set of data sharing laws that are complex and not very transparent to the public.

The Data Sharing and Governance Bill, therefore, provides a flexible legislative gateway for data sharing by public bodies that will simplify the complex legal landscape that currently slows the pace of our efforts to modernise and improve public services. The Bill also provides a framework for public bodies to share data in a manner that is compatible with data protection law, including the new General Data Protection Regulation that came into effect on 25 May.

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