Leave.EU in Ireland may not be GDPR compliant – Richmond

10th January 2021 - Neale Richmond, TD

Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond has written to the Data Protection Commissioner querying if Brexit campaign organisation, Leave.EU, which has recently relocated to Waterford, is GDPR compliant.

The development comes of foot of Deputy Richmond’s decision to refer Leave.EU firstly to ComReg in Ireland and then EURid (European Registry for Internet Domains) to ascertain if they are legally eligible for a .eu domain name.

“Following engagement with ComReg, I am pleased that the matter of whether Leave.EU is eligible for a.eu domain name or not has been referred to EURid. EURid is the non-profit organisation appointed by the European Commission as the domain name registry that operates the .eu top-level domain and its variants in other scripts.

“I have engaged with EURid to establish if Leave.EU have followed all the rules in order to maintain their lucrative domain name by registering in Ireland.

“In addition to this, I have written to Ireland’s data protection commissioner, Helen Dixon, to request her to investigate Leave.EU to ensure they are GDPR compliant. The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area, but not the UK.

“Given that Leave.EU maintain great swathes of personal information about their supporters and other persons, it must be ascertained if they are doing this in accordance with EU law following their relocation of convenience from the UK to Waterford.

“Leave.eu has previously been fined £60,000 for data breaches in the UK.

“In order to be GDPR compliant, Leave.EU would need to identify a Lead Supervisory Authority for Data Protection and would have to move under the jurisdiction of the Data Protection Commissioner and, by extension, the Data Protection Board.

“Furthermore, I have written to the Standards in Public Office (SIPO) to enquire if Leave.eu are now under Irish electoral rules when it comes to donations, expenditure and public expenditure.

“The pro-Brexit campaign group was fined £70,000 by the UK’s Electoral Commission for breaking spending rules in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

“Leave.EU’s recent move to Waterford must be rigorously scrutinised at every turn, this odious organisation has played a wholly negative role in British, Irish and European civic discourse for a number of years now,” Deputy Richmond said.

 

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