2016 was the year of the global data revolution in which privacy and data protection became a top priority for organisations in many sectors and industries, both technology and non-technology related. Undoubtedly, this increased focus on data protection and privacy was driven largely by the formal signing of the GDPR and the EU-US Privacy Shield. 2016 was also a year of landmark data protection and privacy court cases in which William Fry was acting.

In 2017 organisations will need to kick-start their 'GDPR Readiness' programmes and actively accelerate their journey to 25 May 2018 (the date that the GDPR will apply). The GDPR will have a global reach, applying to organisations that are established or direct business activities in the European Union. This widened territorial ambit will require multinational organisations to ensure their data processing activities are GDPR compliant.

Now in its eleventh year, International Data Protection Day is celebrated globally every 28 January to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. In Ireland, promotional events included the formal opening of the new Data Protection Commissioner offices by the Taoiseach and a live Q&A session in Twitter in which Dara Murphy, Minister for Data Protection participated.

To mark International Data Protection Day 2017, our Technology team provide round-up some of the key data protection stories of 2016 and look ahead to likely events for 2017.

For further information on the incoming General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR) and detailed guidelines on compliance, register for PrivacySource, William Fry's dedicated GDPR website.

Part 1: 2016 Round-Up

Part 2: 2017 Forecast