New legal resource for NGOs on data protection through pro bono legal initiative

25 November 2016

Eithne Lynch, Legal Officer, Public Interest Law Alliance, FLAC; Rachel Power, PILA Manager, Public Interest Law Alliance, FLAC, Mary Brassil, Partner, McCann FitzGerald and Adam Finlay, Partner, Technology & Innovation Group, McCann FitzGerald, Picture Colm Mahady / Fennells - Copyright © Fennell Photography 2016

 Leading Irish law firm McCann FitzGerald and the Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA) today launched a handbook on data protection for NGOs and community organisations.

 This user friendly guide which was developed by McCann FitzGerald specifically for the not-for-profit sector  examines both the data protection obligations of organisations, as well as how to support individuals in accessing their personal data.  The guide provides an overview of the existing legislation and rules.

 PILA, which is a project of legal rights group FLAC, operates a pro bono referral scheme that matches expertise in the legal profession with specific legal needs in the not-for-profit social justice sector. This was the first time that a law firm of the Alliance produced such a guide for the NGO sector. As a leader in the area of data protection and privacy McCann FitzGerald was delighted to partner with PILA on this handbook.

 Commenting on the launch, Mary Brassil, Partner, commented, “At McCann FitzGerald, we believe that it is important that we have a positive impact on the communities where we work by supporting projects helping those most in need.  This collaboration with PILA allows us to use our skills and expertise to deliver a vital resource for PILA members.”

 Eilis Barry, FLAC Chief Executive, ‎ added: “This project is a great example of the value of the PILA pro bono referral scheme, with McCann FitzGerald providing its legal expertise to members of our Alliance. A number of social justice organisations had sought PILA’s support with data protection issues, making this guide a useful additional resource for the sector. We are delighted that McCann FitzGerald have taken this pro bono initiative and look forward to continuing our work together.”

The handbook was launched at a seminar for PILA member organisations at McCann FitzGerald offices earlier today. It is available on the PILA website.