2 min

The Irish Data Protection Commission lobbied for social networks to not need user consent within EU privacy rules, according to documents obtained by privacy campaigner Max Schrems’s group.

The documents obtained by noyb.eu under the freedom of information law reveal that the Irish watchdog, a regulator of the lion’s share of US tech companies under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, pushed for social networks to be able to monitor their user’s behavior and target them with ads via a contract, instead of getting explicit consent to do so.

Who watches the watchdog? Someone once asked.

Thwarted attempt

The Irish watchdog’s attempts to get the ‘performance of a contract’ through as a legal basis for leveraging user data in that manner did not go through and was rejected by other European watchdogs.

One European regulator (not named in the document) said that the suggestion would make the GDPR a pro forma instrument, by allowing controllers of the regulated platforms to include whatever they want in a contract without needing consent to balance interests.

The regulator then asked, “Is it possible to provide social media accounts without tracking and profiling? Yes, in fact it is.”

The times are changing

The Irish DPC did not manage to get the proposal passed. The discussions led to every voice agreeing that Ireland’s proposal was not the best thing for the EU citizens.

It’s not surprising to hear that Ireland continually lobbies for big tech to get their way. As the one country in Europe big tech goes to for tax loopholes exploitation, it only stands to reason that Ireland might try to stand in the way of anyone trying to change that.

The tide had shifted as a global tax was agreed upon by many countries, effectively taking away- and or diluting Ireland’s monopoly as EU headquarters to big tech.