The Government is to appoint two additional commissioners at the office of the Data Protection Commission (DPC).

The current Commissioner Helen Dixon is to become Chairperson of the DPC.

Making the announcement, the Department of Justice said the DPC had evolved significantly since its inception and that its increased working burden and investigative complexity have been regularly highlighted by the Commission itself and its stakeholders.

"The Data Protection Commission has performed its role of independent data protection regulation in the State very effectively to date," said Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee.

"In recent years, the Commission is dealing with an increased workload with increasingly complex investigative requirements."

The process to select the two new commissioners will be undertaken by the Public Appointments Service and the appointments will then be made by the Government.

It is expected that the process will take around six months to complete.

"I am also asking that the DPC undertake a review of governance structures, staffing arrangements and processes in order to support the work to be performed by the new model of Commission," Minister McEntee said.

The Data Protection Commission has seen a significant increase in its workload since the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation.

GDPR is an EU regulation that came into effect in May 2018 which imposes strict requirements on the collection, use and storage of personal data.

Because some of the world's biggest tech firms have their European headquarters in Ireland, the DPC is frequently the lead investigator in cases involving social media companies such as Facebook parent Meta, Twitter and TikTok.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties welcomed the Government's decision to appoint two additional Commissioners but called for an independent review of how to strengthen and reform the DPC.

"Without such a review it will be impossible for the new commissioners to know what they need to fix," said ICCL Executive Director Liam Herrick.

"The Minister’s suggestion that the DPC review itself is totally inadequate."