Report of the Data Protection Commission on the Public Services Card Published
Tuesday, 17 September 2019:
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has today published the report of the Data Protection Commission (DPC) on the Public Services Card (PSC). The Department has also published a comprehensive response to the findings of the report as well as related correspondence between it and the DPC.
As stated earlier this month, Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty T.D. and the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe T.D. both informed Government that they are satisfied that the processing of personal data related to the PSC does, in fact, have a strong legal basis, the retention of data is lawful and that the information provided to users does satisfy the requirements of transparency. This opinion was arrived at following very careful consideration of the report and having taken the advice of the Attorney General’s Office.
On this basis the Ministers believe that it would be inappropriate, and potentially unlawful, to withdraw or modify the use of the PSC or the data processes that underpin it as has been requested by the DPC.
Accordingly, it is intended, in line with decisions of successive Governments dating back to 1998, to continue to operate the PSC and the SAFE 2 identity authentication process on which it is based.
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection had offered, together with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, to meet with the DPC to clarify a number of matters of concern arising from the DPC’s report, without prejudice to their position, that the SAFE 2/PSC process is compliant with legal requirements. However, this offer was not taken up by the DPC.
Fingerprints and facial recognition data exposed in major breach