A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed by the Data Protection Commissioner, Billy Hawkes, and the US Federal Trade Commissioner (FTC) Chairwoman, Edith Ramirez. The purpose of the MOU is to “support increased cooperation and communication between the two agencies in their efforts to ensure protection of consumer privacy and data protection rights”.

The MOU is a significant development between Ireland and the US and highlights the commitment of both agencies to protect privacy rights. This is an important step given that many US multinational companies are established in Ireland (with many choosing Ireland as their main European headquarters).

While the MOU is voluntary and does not seek to change the law in either Ireland or the US, it does provide for the mutual exchange of knowledge and expertise which can only benefit both the ODPC and the FTC.