DUBLIN, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Ireland has appointed a government official with experience at multinational companies as its new data protection commissioner to head up a body which acts as regulator to the likes of Google and Facebook outside North America.
Helen Dixon, currently the Irish Registrar of Companies, spent 11 years working with two U.S. technology firms with their European bases in Ireland, including software company Citrix Systems, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Ireland is home to the European headquarters of several big U.S. technology companies and is a major host of data servers. In 2012, the commissioner’s office ordered Facebook to overhaul privacy protection for its users abroad following a probe.
Dixon replaces the retired Billy Hawkes who has served as commissioner since 2005, when Facebook was still only available in a small number of universities.
The Irish government last week expressed serious concern about a U.S. court order for Microsoft to hand over emails held on servers in Ireland to U.S. prosecutors, saying it would create significant legal uncertainty about data protection in Europe.
Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Pravin Char