Documents that have been produced in a court case have revealed that Enda Kenny, the former Fine Gael Taoiseach, acted as a lobbyist for Facebook inside the EU
Facebook described him as a ‘friend of Facebook’ who had ‘really internalised our concerns’. A company memo tells how Ireland was poised to take on the EU Presidency in 2013 and this gave ‘an opportunity to influence European Data Decisions’
It reported that Kenny offered to use the “significant influence” of the EU presidency as a means of influencing other EU member states “even though technically Ireland is supposed to remain neutral in this role.
Facebook’s had two main objectives in mind.
They wanted to restrict the use of the GDPR rules so that they could not be brought before the courts for sharing information with US security or for using phone apps to target individuals for advertising. They got a positive result as there is now a one-stop-shop for privacy complaints, where businesses deal with the Data Commissioner in the country of their ‘main establishment’.
They also wanted to stop a new system whereby countries could apply a digital tax to Facebook based on the amount of advertising sold there.
The revelation that an Irish Taoiseach acted as an agent for Facebook is shocking because it shows he has little concern for the privacy of his own citizens.
As he is still a serving TD he should be brought before a Dail committee to investigate what happened.