Data Protection Falling Between Three Ministries as Irish Water Seek PPS Numbers – Collins

Published on: 16 July 2014


Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice and Equality Niall Collins has called on the Taoiseach to clarify which Government department will oversee the issue of data protection as Irish Water seeks to collect the PPS numbers of all citizens in the State.

Dara Murphy TD has been appointed Minister of State at the Departments of the Taoiseach and Foreign Affairs with Special Responsibility for European Affairs and Data Protection despite the fact that the Minister responsible for the Data Protection Acts is the Minister for Justice and Equality.

Deputy Collins said: “It is vital that the Taoiseach clarifies which Government Department will deal with data protection issues in light of potentially huge transfer of data from government departments to Irish Water.  People do not feel comfortable with a company like Irish Water having extraordinary levels of personal data about them being transferred as proposed by the Government.  We have recently seen a spate of very concerning data protection breaches in both government departments and private companies.  These breaches can have significant impacts for people.  What we need now is a clear line of responsibility for data protection.”

“Ireland has become the world’s digital hub and as such it needs to put in place the best data protection practices not only in Europe but in the world.  The new Minister of State at the Departments of the Taoiseach and Foreign Affairs with Special Responsibility for European Affairs and Data Protection must have some link with the Department of Justice and Equality.  Otherwise, the purpose of the role may be undermined by a confusion of roles and responsibilities.”

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