Ireland’s new data protection watchdog, headed by Helen Dixon, is seeking more power to impose heavy fines on some of Silicon Valley’s big players if they breach the country’s data protection laws.
Ireland is already a home base for the tech titans in the European region including Facebook, Apple and Yahoo.
Data protection rules have become a major issue for consumers and businesses, as companies have been accused of leaking data to security services and advertisers.
EU has proposed a new unified data privacy law, under which if the companies are found guilty then they might have to pay up to 5% of their global revenue, which could be $15bn for Apple and $100m for LinkedIn, reported Reuters.
The new General Data Protection Regulation could also affect Dixon’s role as the sole authority, as under the new law, data protection authorities in other EU countries will get veto powers which will allow them to interfere in other matters.
Under the present data protection laws, the data protection watchdog can fine up to €250,000.
According to reports, Dixon has already conducted audits of the data control policies of Facebook and LinkedIn and is planning to do the same for Yahoo, Apple and Adobe.