The Government recently published its legislation programme for Autumn 2023. We have set out below the status of key Bills of relevance to the data protection and technology sector.
Legislation for priority publication during the Autumn 2023 session
Digital Services Bill – This Bill will give effect to the Digital Services Act ("DSA") (Regulation (EU) 2022/2065). It will designate Coimsiún na Meán (i.e. the Media Commission) as the competent authority (i.e. the Digital Services Coordinator) for Ireland. It is also expected to designate the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission ("CCPC") as a competent authority for some elements of the DSA related to online marketplaces. See our previous article discussing the draft DSA Bill here.
EU Data Governance Bill – This Bill will assign functions and powers to the CCPC for provisions in the EU Data Governance Act (Regulation (EU) 2022/868). Heads of Bill are in preparation.
National Cyber Security Bill – This Bill will transpose the NIS2 Directive (EU) 2022/2555 into national law (which must be implemented into national law by 17 October 2024), and will establish the National Cyber Security Centre of Ireland ("NCSC") on a statutory basis and provide for related matters including clarity around its mandate and role. Heads of Bill are in preparation.
Communications (Retention) of Data) Bill – This Bill will replace the Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011 and consolidate the law on the retention of and access to data for national security and prevention of crime purposes. The Communications (Retention of Data) (Amendment) Act 2022 (the "Amendment Act") (previously discussed here) provides a temporary fix to allow more time for overhaul of the 2011 Act. It came into effect during the summer of 2023, and allows general and indiscriminate retention of communications traffic and location data on national security grounds, where approved by a designated judge. Work is underway on this Bill.
Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill – This Bill proposes to amend various pieces of legislation in respect of electronic communications. Work is underway on this Bill.
Criminal Justice (Protection, Preservation of and Access to Data on Information Systems) Bill – This Bill will give effect to a number of provisions of the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, an international treaty seeking to address cybercrime by harmonising national laws. Heads of Bill are in preparation.
The Autumn Legislation Programme 2023 contains similar legislation to that set out in Summer Legislation Programme (discussed further here). Accordingly, it remains to be seen which legislation will be progressed during the Autumn 2023 session. We will keep you updated on the progress of this legislation.