‘A Matter Of Urgent Importance’


Paschal Donohoe, then Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, launches the Public Services Card (PSC) in 2016

This morning.

It’s being reported that the Department of Employment and Social Protection is refusing to release information with regard to an investigation by the Data Protection Commission into the legality of the public services card.

The request for information was made by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.

In addition, the DPC has confirmed to The Irish Times that the DPC doesn’t intend to publish its report in full.

Instead it will publish a summary of its findings.

Elaine Edwards, in The Irish Times, reports:

A request from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties to the department asking it to release an interim investigation report by the commission into the card and connected projects has been rejected, on grounds that releasing it could reveal the department’s plans or have a significant adverse affect on its functions.

The ICCL call comes as the final stage of Government legislation which will allow wider sharing of personal data with organisations and agencies is set to be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday.

ICCL director Liam Herrick called for “full transparency on the legal basis for the public services card because it violates the privacy and data protection rights of people living in Ireland.

“We have been campaigning against its introduction because it’s unnecessary, costly, and of questionable efficacy – and it targets in particular economically vulnerable people, such as those dependant on social welfare. Further, it is deeply troubling that the Government has continued to roll the card out for essential services while a question hangs over its legality,” he said.

Ms Edwards also reported that the DPC sent the department “a draft confidential report” in recent months for comment and that this report contains “13 provisional findings on issues spanning legal basis to transparency matters”.

Further to this…

Solicitor Simon McGarr has tweeted his thoughts on the matter…


Nurse Polly has also tweeted her experience of having to get a card.


Department refuses to release details of public services card inquiry (The Irish Times)

Rights group challenge over public services card (The Times Ireland)

Previously: Thank You, Nurse Polly


17 thoughts on “‘A Matter Of Urgent Importance’

  1. Dub Spot

    Nurse Polly: The TellyDubby/Glenna Lynch for the post-referendum Ireland. Until a new one comes along. Isn’t she going on strike?

  2. Eoin

    When is the DPC publishing a summary of its findings? (Given the concerns around PSC, it would be reassuring to have the full report, but the summary might be sufficient to put an end to this sinister attempt at mass surveillance of the population).

    1. Rob_G

      Yes. And, like other forms of social welfare payment, unfortunately it is occasionally abused, so it makes sense that one should show some sort of ID card to receive it.

  3. Jake38

    “Data Protection” is one of the reasons for doing nothing in this country (along with “health and safety” and “legal advice”).

  4. Prob is Jeff,

    The card is a red herring, its a consolidated digital database of your health, finance, political leanings [once assumed to a point], legal history, etc.. etc.., all available to the highest private bidders with your bio face pic as the base identifier.
    When the your info is shared / sold to private corporate bidders. It will be sold to the public through the media as a data breach, which they are ‘sorry’ about.

    Soon you will be left wondering why you were refused car / health insurance, refused mortgage, chased for decade old debts from 3rd party debt collectors, parking fines from private carparking cameras linked the bio pic on the psc database which they ‘inexplicably’ had access to in turn your address etc..
    Grow half a brain & run through your own scenarios of what is possible when, and this is the key word
    unknown actors have access to a ‘CONSOLIDATED’ data file on you, you powerless to obtain any explanation as to where they data is stored how it is shared etc.. or to make any confirmed changes to the information held on you…

    The future is digital, digital data is power.

    The card is hardly legal.

    Regina and those gov clowns, who are not the real instigators of this totalitarian strategy will be well out of office by the time the chickens come home to roost on this psychopathic power play.

    Good luck in the cup.

    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      You are correct in all you say, Prob. A half assed attempt at this was already made by Irish Water when they rashly boasted that their collection of “customers’ names, addresses and PPS numbers was” a marketable asset” on their website, until they removed it. we are mere cattle to these wannabe Bilderbergers who fancy themselves so superior to us. They are contemptuos of us, but are in fact themselves utterly contemptible.

  5. Rob_G

    “…Irish Water when they rashly boasted that their collection of “customers’ names, addresses and PPS numbers was” a marketable asset” on their website, until they removed it.”

    This is purest fantasy.

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