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The Irish Office of the Data Protection Commissioner was established under the 1988 Data Protection Act. The Data Protection Amendment Act, 2003, updated the legislation, implementing the provisions of EU Directive 95/46. The Acts set out the general principle that individuals should be in a position to control how data relating to them is used.
The Data Protection Commissioner is responsible for upholding the rights of individuals as set out in the Acts, and enforcing the obligations upon data controllers. The Commissioner is appointed by Government and is independent in the exercise of his or her functions. Individuals who feel their rights are being infringed can complain to the Commissioner, who will investigate the matter, and take whatever steps may be necessary to resolve it.