IF you surf the web or use a smartphone, then data protection is probably an important topic for you.
The rise of Facebook, Twitter and even the greater use of tracking cookies (which record what websites you visit for marketing purposes) mean we are losing the right to be "forgotten".
Put another way, as a technology executive told 'The Punt' several months ago, there is no anonymity online.
If you use an alias on the web your IP address can be traced back to your computer. You can't pay cash online. Every transaction has a name, an address and a credit card number.
Given the concerns about what companies can do with our data, it is no surprise that Ireland's data protection commissioner (DPC) Billy Hawkes has found himself in the eye of the storm. As head of a small regulator, he is in charge of patrolling Facebook, Google and LinkedIn's international operations, to name just three. In Google's case alone there are roughly nine Google staff for every DPC employee.
Yesterday, Mr Hawkes gave a rare public speech highlighting the need for funding of regulators across Europe if they are to be effective.
It is not before time. If the Government and the EU are to protect their citizens from having their privacy invaded online, it must invest in regulation. No amount can be too much.