European Data Protection Digest

ODPC Investigates Access to Welfare Data

INFORMATION ACCESS—IRELAND

June 1, 2012

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) is investigating the appropriateness of the access that local authority workers have to sensitive welfare data, reports the Irish Examiner. The ODPC is conducting onsite inspections of eight agencies that have access to the Department of Social Protection database after a general audit of the database in 2011 showed "limited guidance on when files should be made available," the report states. The ODPC recently insisted that fingerprint or palm prints be used to track access to personal details of individuals not paying household charges, and three insurance companies have pleaded guilty to illegally seeking access to welfare data.
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