Belfast Telegraph

Watchdog to launch probe over Apple privacy 'risk'

By Adrian Weckler

The Republic's data protection commissioner is to commence a "substantive" privacy audit of Apple in relation to a risk that all Apple device users are said to face.

Helen Dixon said the commissioner had identified "a very specific risk". "This is something substantive that we want to look into," she added.

"It's a type of area for audit that will affect lots of data subjects and probably any data subject that uses Apple devices in particular."

Ms Dixon declined to give more details about the upcoming probe as her office has not yet commenced detailed discussions with Apple on the subject.

She said, however, that the investigation was scheduled to begin in autumn.

She added that the Irish Data Protection Authority was currently investigating another software giant, Adobe, in relation to its Digital Editions ebook.

Ms Dixon also said her office had battled "misapprehensions" abroad that Irish data protection implementation was more lax than in other European countries and again rebutted claims that the Republic was "deliberately not investing in data protection and was more interested in multinationals and jobs".

"We have countered the misapprehension that somehow we took data privacy less seriously or that we weren't as professional as an office," she explained.

Ms Dixon said that the unresolved status of data transfers between Europe and the US, brought about by the European Court Of Justice's dismissal of the Safe Harbour agreement and by ongoing doubt over its Privacy Shield successor, have left companies facing "uncertainty".

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