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Spotify hits the right note, INM data breach, gender pay deadline, and a robot warning

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The Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon says she intends to undertake an investigation into a data breach at Independent News &Media (INM), whether personal data was accessed and if so, whether it was processed lawfully and fairly in accordance with data protection legislation.

After taking a tumble in recent trading, there was a little respite on the US stock market as shares in the music streaming service Spotify climbed in the minutes after it began trading through a direct listing on the stock market. The Swedish company began trading at an opening price of $165.90 per share, nearly 26 per cent above the reference price, before slipping back a little.

In his column, Cliff Taylor argues, however, that while trading was better on Tuesday and Spotify launched successfully on the market, there is a nervous week to come. He warns that with Trump’s tweet commentary further destabilising trade and the US gearing up for a trade war, Ireland is in danger of getting caught in the crossfire.

By midnight tonight every firm in Britain with more than 250 staff is by the government to publish data on its gender pay gap – the difference between hourly earnings of men and women. So far the details have been revealing: not least amongst the cohort of Irish firms with sizeable operations in the UK. Ryanair stole the limelight yesterday, revealing it pays women 71.8 per cent less than men, but few firms were immune from criticism and more noticeable gaps are certain to emerge before the deadline.

The push to gender equality may be in vain for some, however, for the OECD estimates that one in seven workers will lose their jobs to robots. While this is fewer than previously thought, it amounts to up to 66 million workers across the 32 developed economies of the OECD.

Pay is likely to be on the mind of Paddy Power Betfair shareholders, amid news that the firm will pay its new chief executive Peter Jackson almost €825,000 plus bonuses this year, according to the group’s annual report. It also shows the firm paid outgoing boss Breon Corcoran £3.2 million last year, more than twice the £1.56 million he received in 2016.

The battle between the National Lottery and the private lotto betting firms has taken another turn. In response to criticism that it posed a threat to National Lottery ticket sales and by extension good causes, Lottoland said its operation was much less of a threat to good causes than National Lottery operator, Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), which was allowed to pocket unclaimed prize money unlike lotteries in other jurisdictions.

It’s hard to see past the Central Bank’s failure to spot the financial crash, but former governor Patrick Honohan has put together a case for arguing the last 25 years has been the institution’s most successful. In an economic letter, evaluating the performance of the Central Bank since its inception in 1943 to the present day, Prof Honohan said the recent period, with the exception of the crash, had seen a strong improvement in the State’s main economic indicators.

Finally, in commercial property, Jack Fagan reports on one of the last large scale shopping centres to be offered for sale on the instructions of Nama. Charlestown Shopping Centre in north Dublin is being offered for sale at €35.5 million.

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