With the effective date of the GDPR fast approaching, Ireland – the site of the European headquarters of tech giants like Apple, Google and Facebook – is at the forefront of data protection and privacy enforcement. Leading the effort is Helen Dixon, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner. We spoke to Commissioner Dixon about the “game-changing” nature of the GDPR. This first part of our two-part series includes her views on the most challenging compliance issues for companies, strategies to get buy-in from the C-suite for compliance resources (including the threat of the heavy fines the Commissioner can levy), and successful compliance models she has seen. See also “Getting to Know the DPO and Adapting Corporate Structure to Comply With the GDPR (Part One of Two)” (Jan. 25, 2017); Part Two (Feb. 8, 2017).