Public Services Card; Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty; Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon
The Irish Times is reporting that the the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will publish the report by the State’s data protection watchdog – the Data Protection Commission – into the public services card.
Jack Horgan-Jones reports:
Relations between the department and the data watchdog have soured arising from the report, with secretary general John McKeon last week writing to Ms [Data Protection Commissioner Helen] Dixon to outline a series of alleged inconsistencies, as well as criticising the manner in which the investigation and its report were completed and publicised.
The letter, which has been seen by The Irish Times, was delivered by hand to Ms Dixon last week.
…The manner in which the commission handled the submission of the report also comes in for criticism. The watchdog has no powers to publish the report, but the department alleges that it “nevertheless published the core elements of the report” via a press release, media briefings and interviews.
“The department considers that these actions by the DPC are prejudicial to its interests and requests that the DPC now identify its vires [powers] for having so published its findings.”
It follows the Irish Examiner reporting yesterday that the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection said it would “not be in the public interest” to publish the report.
Solicitor Simon McGarr has tweeted his thoughts…
Associate Professor of Law at University College Dublin and chair of Digital Rights Ireland TJ McIntyre has also shared his thoughts…
Update: Having told me on Friday that the sky would fall if it released the report, the department is now spinning that it will publish it today. Draw your own conclusions as to its credibility. https://t.co/e4UswnQ4TY
— TJ McIntyre (@tjmcintyre) September 16, 2019
Update 2:A little more detail. Note the claim that publishing a summary of the report was illegal. That’s right – the department running a national ID card without any legal basis accuses the *regulator* of wrongdoing by publishing its findings. https://t.co/c4JCrTpKZq
— TJ McIntyre (@tjmcintyre) September 17, 2019
Ciannan Brennan, of The Irish Examiner, has also tweeted his thoughts…
Previously: “Not In The Public Interest”