Via RTE - Will Goodbody.

The Data Protection Commissioner has told a US Senate Committee that her office has reason to believe that US technology firms may have breached the European Union's new data protection rules.

Speaking in Washington DC, Helen Dixon said in the 11 months since the General Data Protection Regulation came into force, the Data Protection Commission has opened 12 significant investigations into potential infringements by large US tech companies.

"So we have reason to believe then clearly that there are potential infringements of the GDPR arising," she told the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Ms Dixon said the DPC is significantly advanced in a number of those investigations and intends to have a decision on the first of them soon.

So far, she said, no fines had been issued under GDPR because the probes which are complex are still continuing.

She said that overall her office has 51 significant investigations underway currently, with a subset of those related to US tech companies.

The commissioner said she did not think it was a case that GDPR poses a more difficult or easier compliance approach for US companies over European ones.

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