Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (624)

Michael McGrath

Question:

624. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the legal basis of the Public Services Card; her views on the concerns persons may have in relation to data protection; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21453/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The legal basis for the Public Services Card (PSC) can be found in the Social Welfare Consolidation Act, 2005, as amended.

Section 263 of that Act provides that a PSC can be issued, once the person's identity has been authenticated. The same section also provides for the information that can be inscribed on the PSC and for the information that can be stored electronically on the PSC.

The PSC is designed and intended to replace other cards within the public sector, such as the free travel pass and the social services card of this Department, and to make it easy for providers of public services to verify the identity of customers.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on 25th May 2018. The Regulation and the Data Protection Acts confer rights on individuals in relation to the privacy of their personal data as well as responsibilities on those persons holding and processing such data. 

My Department takes its responsibilities in relation to data protection very seriously and is committed to protecting the rights and privacy of individuals in accordance with both European Union and Irish data protection legislation. In accordance with the GDPR, my Department has a Data Protection Officer (DPO) supported by a fully resourced Data Protection Unit.

My Department's Privacy Statement has a section on the personal data that we  collect and process and can be viewed on the www.welfare.ie website.  It also gives contact details for the Data Protection Officer (DPO).

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.