Tuesday 6 December 2016

EU Ombudsman calls for greater transparency on data

Jane O'Faherty

Published 04/11/2015 | 02:30

Ms O’Reilly said during a conversation with the Editor of the Irish Independent, Fionnán Sheahan, at the Web Summit that Ireland compared well with the 27 other EU member states in relation to availability of data
Ms O’Reilly said during a conversation with the Editor of the Irish Independent, Fionnán Sheahan, at the Web Summit that Ireland compared well with the 27 other EU member states in relation to availability of data

European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly has said EU member states should be more transparent with information.

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Ms O'Reilly said during a conversation with the Editor of the Irish Independent, Fionnán Sheahan, at the Web Summit that Ireland compared well with the 27 other EU member states in relation to availability of data.

"Ireland is actually fairly advanced in relation to its Freedom of Information Laws, its Ombudsman regulation and it has also just created a new lobbying register," she said.

"That would not be common among the 28 member states.

"In some countries, though, the lobbying register is called the anti-corruption register, so that also tells of a particular cultural view of lobbying.

"Some countries have greater powers of lobbying and it is regulated, while others don't."

She voiced her concern regarding EU officials' ability to leave their positions to work for tech companies, who may wish to access information on regulation that could affect them.

While Ms O'Reilly recognised that the EU is working to regulate this, she said: "I'm not convinced that it is monitored adequately and enforced adequately and I think the rules have to be tightened."

The Ombudsman spoke of the difficulties in finding common ground on data protection among different countries in Europe.

"Germany, for example, is very much attuned to privacy," she said.

Irish Independent

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