Privacy Statement

Last updated: 3 April 2019

The Data Protection Commission of Ireland is the national authority responsible for the
enforcement of the law on e-privacy, i.e. EU ePrivacy Directive (2002/58/EC) as amended by 2009/136/EC), and the Irish ePrivacy Regulations, implemented by Statutory Instrument (S.I.) No. 336 of 2011, which complement the General Data Protection Regulation.

The rules under the e-privacy legislation apply to an organisation’s use of cookies and other tracking technologies. Regulation 5 of the e-privacy regulations is the relevant legislation regulating the use of cookies.

Read our Cookies Statement here.

Your Privacy

The European Consumer Centre Ireland (‘ECC Ireland’) (‘us’, ‘we’ or ‘our’) is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. ECC Ireland is a company limited by guarantee (company number 367035) and registered charity (number 20048617 – CHY14708), with registered office at MACRO Building, 1 Green Street, Dublin 7.

This document, together with the Terms of Use for our website, our Cookies Policy, and the documents referred to therein, sets out the way we process any personal information provided to us which allows us to identify you (‘Data’) in connection with the services we provide through our website, e-Bulletin, social media and query and complaint handling (‘our Services’).

Please read it carefully to ensure you understand our processing of your Data for the purposes we state to you.

Controller and Processor

To describe our role in processing your Data, we first need to refer to a couple of legal terms: controller and processor.

For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), applicable from 25 May 2018, ECC Ireland is the ‘controller’ of the Data with which you provide us, in the context of our Services, means of processing and purposes described in this document. However, in the context of the registration and handling of queries and complaints through the European Consumer Centres Network query management systems operated by the European Commission, ECC Ireland acts as ‘processor’ and the European Commission acts as ‘controller’ pursuant to the specific Privacy Statement provided separately here which details the purposes and means of the processing. Any other processing carried out by us outside the said query management systems is performed in accordance with the purposes and in the manner set out below.

Why We Use Your Data

We will only process your Data for the purposes we state to you, and where we have a legal basis to do so. The legal basis will depend on the reasons for the processing. In addition to cases where you give consent to the use of your Data pursuant to this document or otherwise, we may also process your Data if one or more of the following applies: (i) the processing is necessary to comply with a legal obligation; (ii) the processing is necessary to protect the vital interests of a natural person; (iii) the processing is necessary to perform a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority; (iv) the processing is necessary to pursue a legitimate interest.

In most cases we will need to process your Data in order to provide our Services at your request, or for the purposes of managing our Services, as explained below:

  • Providing our Services at your request. We only process Data that are necessary to discharge duties, e.g. to enable communication to address your questions and provide you with the information sought; or assist you with a consumer issue, including the assessment of the issue at stake; and/or communications which may be required to process your complaint or dispute, and subsequent follow-up. If contact with the trader about whom the complaint is made is required, either directly or through other members of the European Consumer Centres Network (e.g. through the ECC where the trader is based), or through an alternative dispute resolution (‘ADR’) entity, or through a national enforcement body (‘NEB’), we may have to disclose to them the complainant’s identity and, where necessary, provide them with the relevant details of the transaction concerned and supporting documentation.
  • Managing, monitoring, reporting and quality assurance, e.g. Data may be processed when monitoring and reporting on our activities for statistical, analytical and internal training purposes. This helps us build capacity and improve our Services. We also gather and publish case studies and statistical information on the number and type of cases we process, but all information is anonymised and does not identify any individual. Note that we do not perform data profiling.


ECC Ireland’s Function

ECC Ireland is part of the European Consumer Centres Network, a pan-European network established by the European Commission and the Member States. The legal basis for this joint action is article 4(d)(11) of Regulation (EU) No 254/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014, on a multi-annual consumer programme for the years 2014-2020 (OJ L84 of 20/03/2014).

ECC Ireland is co-funded by the European Commission and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission of Ireland, established by the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014. ECC Ireland is also under the aegis of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in respect of its designation as Online Contact Point in the State pursuant to Regulation 3 of the European Union (Online Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes) Regulations 2015 (S.I. 500 of 2015), giving effect to Regulation (EU) No 524/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 (OJ L165 of 18/6/2013).

ECC Ireland’s functions include:

Providing consumers with information on consumer rights, namely:

  • Assisting consumers with their complaints and disputes by encouraging and helping them to make contact with the trader, where appropriate, and assisting in the process of handling complaints and disputes;
  • Promoting ADR and out-of-court dispute resolution and the functions of the European Consumer Centres Network and awareness raising, including EU information campaigns on consumer rights, website and other content, such as publications, and the organisation or promotion of knowledge-sharing events on consumer protection such as conferences, seminars and workshops;
  • Cooperating with enforcement authorities and other stakeholders involved in the field of consumer protection, as well as trade associations and professional bodies, and developing efficient collaboration within the European Consumer Centres Network;
  • Collecting and analysing information deriving from the queries and complaints handled for statistical and policy-making purposes, and contributing to relevant consultations in the field of consumer protection.

ECC Ireland has also been conferred responsibility for the purposes of performing the functions set out in Article 21 of Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 (OJ L376 of 27/12/2006) and regulation 11 of the European Union (Provision of Services) Regulations 2010 (S.I. 533 of 2010) and, in particular, to provide service recipients in the State with:

  • general information on the requirements applicable in other Member States relating to access to, and exercise of, service activities, in particular those relating to consumer protection;
  • general information on the means of redress available in the case of a dispute between a provider and a recipient;
  • the contact details of associations or organisations, including the centres of the European Consumer Centres Network, from which providers or recipients may obtain practical assistance.


What Data We Collect

We may collect and process certain Data about you when you seek information or advice from us, or use our website. In particular, we may collect your name, your country of residence, your email address and/or telephone number. Other personal details such as postal address or bank details may be collected where necessary to identify a transaction or to facilitate a payment in your favour. In addition to a summary or description of the consumer’s request, we may also collect the relevant details of the transaction concerned and supporting documentation, so that further assistance can be provided. In a very limited amount of cases, supporting documentation may include sensitive data, e.g. medical certificate required insomuch as the validity of the claim is based on same. Such data will only be processed with your explicit consent for the purposes of pursuing your request.


How We Collect Your Data 

Service Provision

When you call ECC Ireland’s helpline, or submit a request though our contact form, or email us, or contact us by post.

ECC Ireland may also receive Data in the context of promotional and educational activities, such as conferences, seminars and workshops. Subject to express consent being provided, we may use these details to inform about other closely-related activities, e.g. future events. We may also deal with some publication requests where we may process the necessary data for the purposes of sending out the publications.

Website Visits

When someone visits we use a third-party service, Google Analytics, to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to gain information on, for example, the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. Google Analytics is not personal information – it does not know who you are. For more information, see Google Analytics’ privacy policy. You can opt out of Google Analytics completely by using the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on. You should also be able to use your browser in “private” or “incognito” mode, to look like a brand-new user every time you browse the web.

Search Engine

Our website search and decision notice search are powered by Google Tag Manager. Search queries and results are logged anonymously to help us improve our website and search functionality. No user-specific Data are collected by either ECC Ireland or any third-party.

E-Mail Marketing

We use a third-party provider, MailChimp, to deliver our monthly e-Bulletins. We gather statistics around email opening and clicks using industry standard technologies to help us monitor and improve our e-newsletter. For more information, please see: 

When people do subscribe to our services, they can cancel their subscription at any time and are given an easy way of doing this.

Social Media

ECC Ireland manages its own social media interactions. We use Twitter to promote ECC Ireland’s activities, share items of consumer interest, and interact with the public. Detail on the handling of your data by Twitter can be found in the privacy policy of Twitter available here.

How We Use Your Data

We may use your data to:

  • Respond to your requests for information and other communication or correspondence you may submit to us
  • Provide you with information or services that you request from us
  • Carry out statistical analysis
  • Improve the services that we provide to you (e.g. customer satisfaction survey)
  • Send our e-Bulletin (if you have subscribed to receive this newsletter)
  • Allow you to participate in interactive features of our website, when you choose to do so (e.g. contact form)
  • Carry out activities necessary to the running of ECC Ireland, including staff training, monitoring and quality control
  • Notify you about changes to our website, services or policies

When we receive a request for information or a complaint from a consumer we create a file containing the details of the complaint. This normally contains the identity of the complainant and any other individuals involved in the complaint.

Requests for information and complaints from consumers are registered in the European Consumer Centres Network query management systems operated by the European Commission are subject to the specific Privacy Statement provided separately here, detailing the purposes and means of the processing.

If a consumer does not want information identifying him or her to be processed, we will respect that. However, the consumer should note that it may not be possible to handle a complaint on an anonymous basis.

We will only use the personal information we collect to process the request or complaint and to check on the level of service we provide. To this end, consumers may be invited to participate in a customer satisfaction survey upon closure of the file. We do compile and publish statistics showing information like the number of complaints we receive, but not in a form which identifies anyone.

We keep personal information contained in complaint files in line with our retention policy. This means that information relating to a complaint will be retained for up to two years from the date of closing your file. It will be retained in a secure environment and access to it will be restricted according to the ‘need to know’ principle. Entries in the European Consumer Centres Network query management systems operated by the European Commission are kept as long as a case remains open, and no longer than one year after it has been closed. This is to allow follow-up if there are new developments after the closure of the case. Once the retention period expires, the information is anonymised and kept for statistical purposes only.

Disclosure of Data

Where the intervention from other members of the European Consumer Centres Network is required to assist with a complaint, your file may be shared, with your express consent, with the ECC where the trader is based or, where appropriate, with relevant bodies such as an ADR entity or a National Enforcement Body (‘NEB’).

Where contact with a trader is required to pursue your complaint, certain Data may be shared insofar as necessary to resolve the issue, with your express consent.

For further details concerning the European Consumer Centres Network query management systems operated by the European Commission are provided in the latter’s specific Privacy Statement.

External Links

Our website includes links to other websites or web platforms operated by third-parties, subject to their own privacy and cookies policies. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for those policies as these links are provided for convenience purposes only. It is your responsibility to check the third-party website’s privacy and cookies statements before you submit any personal data to them.

Safeguarding Your Data

We take reasonable and appropriate measures to protect your Data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure, taking into account the risks involved in the processing and the nature of the Data.

All data in electronic format processed within the European Consumer Centres Network query management systems operated by the European Commission are stored either on the servers of the European Commission or of its contractors bound by a specific contractual clause for any processing operations on behalf of the Commission; the operations of which abide by the Commission Decision C(2006) 3602, of 16 August 2006, concerning the security of information systems used by the European Commission.

Your Rights

You have the following rights under the conditions set out by law:

  • Information request about whether we hold Data about you, and, if so, what that information is and why we are holding/using it.       
  • Access request to your personal information (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the Data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
  • Correction request of the Data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate Data we hold about you corrected.
  • Erasure request of your Data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove Data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it.
  • Object to processing request, for example if there is something about your particular situation which makes you object to our grounds for the processing.
  • Object to automated decision-making request, for example where you object to be subject of any automated decision-making using your personal information or profiling of you. Note that we do not perform data profiling.
  • Restriction of processing request, for example if you want us to suspend the processing of your Data until it is established its accuracy or the reason for the processing.
  • Data portability request. This enables you to take your data from us in an electronically usable format and to be able to transfer your data to another party in an electronically usable format.
  • Withdraw consent. You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time when the processing of your Data are based on your consent for a specific purpose.

In order to process your request, we may require additional information from you to confirm your identity.

There is no fee to exercise any of these rights. However, we may we may either seek to recover the administrative cost of taking the action requested or refuse to act on the request if the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, in particular because of their repetitive character.

If you want to exercise any of these rights, then please submit your request to The Manager, European Consumer Centre Ireland by post or via e-mail at:

Changes to Our Privacy Statement

This Statement may change from time to time, and any changes will be posted on ECC Ireland’s website and will be effective when posted. This is a live document, under regular review.

Applicable Legislation

The ePrivacy Regulations
Regulation 5 of the ePrivacy Regulations
Regulation 5 of the European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks and
Services)(Privacy and Electronic Communications) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 336 of 2011)
(‘the ePrivacy Regulations’) protects the confidentiality of communications.
Regulation 5(3): A person shall not use an electronic communications network to store
information, or to gain access to information already stored in the terminal equipment of a
subscriber or user, unless
(a) the subscriber or user has given his or her consent to that use, and
(b) the subscriber or user has been provided with clear and comprehensive
information in accordance with the Data Protection Acts which—
(i) is both prominently displayed and easily accessible, and
(ii) includes, without limitation, the purposes of the processing of the information.
Regulation 5(4): For the purpose of paragraph (3), the methods of providing information
and giving consent should be as user-friendly as possible. Where it is technically possible and
effective, having regard to the relevant provisions of the Data Protection Acts, the user’s
consent to the storing of information or to gaining access to information already stored may
be given by the use of appropriate browser settings or other technological application by
means of which the user can be considered to have given his or her consent.
Regulation 5(5): Paragraph (3) does not prevent any technical storage of, or access to,
information for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over
an electronic communications network or which is strictly necessary in order to provide an
information society service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user.
Regulation 5(5) therefore sets out the criteria a cookie or other tracking technology
must meet in order to be exempt from the requirement to obtain consent.
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