We are the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg).
Our contact details are: The Commission for Communications Regulation, 1 Dockland Central. Guild Street, Dublin 1, D01 E4X0; telephone: 018049668 or firstname.lastname@example.org (for consumer-related queries) or 018049600 or email@example.com (for industry-related queries) or firstname.lastname@example.org (to report misuse of numbers). You can also contact us using the Queries & Complaints form available on our website at www.comreg.ie.
ComReg is the statutory body responsible for the regulation of the electronic communications sector (telecommunications, radio communications, broadcasting transmission and premium rate services) and the postal sector in Ireland. This includes a function in licensing use of the radio spectrum in Ireland.
We have a wide range of responsibilities in telecommunications (or electronic communications services and networks as it is more accurately described), postal and spectrum management. We operate under Irish and EU legislation in these areas.
We are responsible for facilitating competition, for protecting consumers and for encouraging innovation. Our role involves dealing with complex issues of law, economics and technology, and ensuring that our decisions are taken fairly and are clearly explained. Our powers include the ability to prosecute for certain criminal offences that are specified under the legislation which we regulate.
More information about our functions and services is available on our website at www.comreg.ie.
ComReg has appointed a Data Protection Officer (DPO) to oversee our compliance with data protection rules. More information about our DPO, including contact details, is provided here.
ComReg collects and uses personal data (personal information) about individuals who come in contact with us, for a variety of purposes. In circumstances where we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal data about individuals, we are a “data controller”.
This Privacy Notice outlines what personal data we collect and use about individuals in connection with the services and functions of ComReg, where we obtain the personal data from, what we do with that personal data, how we comply with data protection legislation, who receives personal data from us and how we deal with individuals’ rights in relation to their personal data. This Privacy Notice includes information about the personal data we collect and use about consumers who complain to us, about individuals who we interact with as part of fulfilling our functions (including individuals who work in regulated businesses) and other individuals outside our organisation.
The primary data protection legislation that applies to us is the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR) effective from 25 May 2018, supplemented by Irish legislation (primarily the Data Protection Acts 1988 – 2018 and ePrivacy Regulations 2011). Where we process personal information for the purposes of our criminal investigation and prosecution powers, we are regulated by the Law Enforcement Directive (Directive (EU) 2016/680) as transposed into Irish law by the Data Protection Act 2018. One of our obligations under data protection legislation is to be transparent with you about our collection and use of personal information about individuals.
Data protection law provides rights to individuals with regard to the use of their personal information (personal data) by organisations, including ComReg. Irish and EU laws on data protection govern all activities we engage in with regard to our collection, storage, handling, disclosure and other uses of personal data.
Compliance with the data protection rules is a legal obligation. In addition, our compliance with the data protection rules helps individuals to have confidence in dealing with us and helps us to maintain a positive reputation in relation to how we handle personal information.
The data protection rules that apply to us are contained in the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR) effective from 25 May 2018, supplemented by Irish legislation (primarily the Data Protection Acts 1988 – 2018 and ePrivacy Regulations 2011). Where we process personal information for the purposes of our criminal investigation and prosecution powers, we are regulated by the Law Enforcement Directive (Directive (EU) 2016/680) as transposed into Irish law by the Data Protection Act 2018.
The data protection rules require that the personal data (personal information) that we collect and use about you must be:
We must also follow rules in relation to who receives personal data from us (see further below), transferring personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA) (see further below) and about individuals rights in relation to their personal data (see further information below). Note that some of the rules are more restricted in relation to personal data that we process for the purposes of our criminal investigation and prosecution powers.
Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been (permanently and irrevocably) removed (anonymous data).
There are “special categories” of more sensitive personal data which require a higher level of protection, such as information about a person’s health.
We collect, store, and use the following main categories of personal information about individuals who are external to ComReg (that is, outside our organisation) and for the purposes which are set out below:
1 About consumers/customers of telecoms or postal service providers (including those who complain to us about services and businesses which we regulate):
2. About individuals in service providers which we regulate:
3. About licence holders (licence holders under the Wireless Telegraphy legislation):
4. About individuals who have registered Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) with us and their emergency contacts (see also here):
5. About visitors to our website or our offices and premises:
We also collect and use personal information about individuals who we investigate for breaches of the legislation which we regulate. This includes personal information (including location information and property folio information) about individuals who are investigated and/or prosecuted for interfering with the radio spectrum, or who unlawfully import wireless telegraphy equipment, and about officers of service providers who are individually investigated and/or prosecuted for offences committed under the relevant legislation. We may also collect personal information (including name and address) about individuals who whistle-blow to us about wrongdoing.
We also collect, use and hold the following personal information:
ComReg collects personal data (personal information) in a variety of ways. These include:
ComReg will only use your personal information when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal information in the following circumstances:
We may also use your personal information in the following situations, which are likely to be unusual:
The main situations in which ComReg will use your personal information are listed below:
If you fail to provide certain information when requested by ComReg, then we may not be able to respond or deal with a request that you have made to us (for example, to be granted a licence, or relating to a complaint against a service provider or to include you in our contact list for information updates), or we may be prevented from complying with our legal obligations (such as to investigate complaints made to us).
For the majority of uses that ComReg makes of the personal information that is described in this Privacy Notice, we do not require your consent. Our collection and use of personal information is mainly based on our legal obligations and to enable us to fulfil our role as a regulator.
For providing information or for making marketing communications, we only communicate to individuals who have asked to receive these updates (e.g. our eAlerts service) or (in relation to marketing communications) where we are entitled to rely on “opt-out consent” which are provided for under the rules on direct marketing (for example, business-to-business communications).
In the limited circumstances where you may have provided your consent to the collection or use of your personal information for a specific purpose, you have the right to withdraw your consent for that specific use at any time. You can access your cookie preferences here to withdraw consent:
Or you can contact our Data Protection Officer (DPO) – please see the section below which provides contact details for our DPO. Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent, we will no longer process your information for the purpose or purposes you originally agreed to, unless we have another legitimate basis for doing so in law. Please note that withdrawal of consent to processing, where relevant to a licence granted by ComReg, may result in the cancellation of that licence.
Automated decision-making takes place when an electronic system uses personal information to make a decision without human intervention. We are allowed to use automated decision-making in the following circumstances:
If we make an automated decision on the basis of any particularly sensitive personal information, we must have either your explicit written consent or it must be justified in the public interest, and we must also put in place appropriate measures to safeguard your rights.
You will not be subject to decisions that will have a significant impact on you based solely on automated decision-making, unless we have a lawful basis for doing so and we have notified you.
Currently, our system uses automated decision-making to automatically revoke licences and licence applications that have expired due to non-renewal or non-payment. We do not envisage that any other decisions will be taken about you using automated means, however we will notify affected individuals if this position changes.
We may share your data with third parties, including our third-party service providers and other recipients. Some of these recipients are our data processors, that is, they can only take and use the personal information that they receive from us strictly only on our instructions and under our control.
Then there are other recipients which are not our data processors, but which are regarded as separate data controllers, with which we interact and share personal information. This includes our auditors and solicitors (to the extent that they might need to review our records in order to provide professional services to us), our payment services provider (to facilitate payments made to us for licences), regulated service providers (where we need to provide personal information relating to complaints made about them), but also other regulators with which we interact as part of our regulatory obligations.
We require all our data processors to respect the security of your personal information and to treat it in accordance with the law.
We will share your personal information with these third parties where required by law, or where we have legitimate interest in doing so (for example, to help us to efficiently operate our organisation).
We may transfer your personal information outside the EU.
If we do, you can expect a similar degree of protection in respect of your personal information.
We set out below descriptions of our data processors which process personal information on our behalf, and under our control:
There are other organisations to which we disclose personal information or with which we share personal information. The majority of these recipients are independent data controllers. These organisations include:
All our data processors are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal information. We do not allow our data processors to use your personal data for their own purposes. We only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.
As a general rule, we do not transfer personal information contained on our IT systems outside the European Economic Area (being the EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). Our policy is to require any data that is processed on our behalf by our data processors to be kept on servers located within the EU.
To the extent that any personal information under our control might be transferred outside the EU, we ensure that the personal information receives an adequate level of protection. So, for example, we check whether the information recipient is located in a country which the EU Commission has ruled has an adequate level of data protection. Otherwise, we ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to protect the personal information and that the personal information is treated by the recipients in a way that is consistent with and which respects data protection legislation. This can include using measures like Standard Contractual Clauses to underpin the data transfers. If you require further information about this or about specific protection measures, please contact our Data Protection Officer (DPO): here.
We have put in place measures to protect the security of your personal information.
Our third-party service providers (data processors) will only process your personal information on our instructions and where they have agreed to treat the information confidentially and to keep it secure.
We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal information to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal information on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach (including personal data breach) and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected personal data breach where we are legally required to do so.
We will only retain your personal information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements. If legislation requires us to retain personal data for a specified period, then we retain it in accordance with those legislative obligations.
To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and any specific legal obligations that apply to us to retain personal information or records which might contain personal information.
The following are examples of the retention periods we apply:
In some circumstances we may anonymise your personal information so that it can no longer be associated with you, in which case we may use such information without further notice to you. We will retain and securely destroy your personal information in accordance with our data retention schedule (or based on applicable laws and regulations where these override our nominated retention period).
We may retain your personal information longer than our nominated retention period where we need it in order to make or defend legal claims, and if this happens, we will retain the personal information for as long as it takes to resolve the legal claim or have it finally determined by a court.
It is important that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal information changes during your relationship with us. You can do so by contacting our Data Protection Officer (DPO) – see here or by using our online tools (e.g. where you have an online account with us). Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:
Your rights in connection with personal information
Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:
Some of the above rights are more restricted in relation to personal data that is held and processed by us for the purposes of the investigation and/or prosecution by us of criminal offences.
If you want to review, verify, access, correct or request erasure of your personal information, object to the processing of your personal data, or request that we transfer a copy of your personal information to another party, please email email@example.com, giving as much information as possible to help us to verify who you are and what your request is about.
No fee usually required
You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal information (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request for access is clearly unfounded or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with the request in such circumstances.
What we may need from you
We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access the personal information (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is another appropriate security measure to ensure that personal information is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request in order to speed up our response.
Time limit for us to respond to requests
We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month of receiving them. (One month is the specified time limit for response under data protection legislation.) Occasionally, it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or if you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated about our timing for response.
We have appointed a Data Protection Officer (DPO) to oversee compliance with this Privacy Notice and generally with our obligations under the data protection rules. If you have any questions about this Privacy Notice or how we handle your personal information, please contact the DPO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any issues about our handling of your personal information or about our data protection compliance, you have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Data Protection Commission (DPC), which is the Irish supervisory authority for data protection legislation (including under the GDPR and Data Protection Acts 1988 – 2018).
We reserve the right to update this Privacy Notice at any time, and we will provide you with a new Privacy Notice when we make any substantial updates. We may also notify you in other ways from time to time about the processing of your personal information.
Updated – 25 November 2020