The reply is the same as the reply to the first question asked by Deputy O'Dea. Given that I read the first half of it into the record, I will read the second half and that might answer the Deputy's questions directly.
The Department will continue to use the SAFE 2 registration process and issue PSCs. It will also retain the supporting documentation collected as part of the SAFE process.
The reason for this is that it is not sufficient, in the case of a dispute over a decision, to simply record that the decision was taken. It is also necessary to be able to produce the documentation on which the decision was grounded. Other bodies, for example, credit unions, public utilities and banks, similarly retain documentation submitted in support of applications for their services for as long as the person concerned is a customer of the organisation. We intend to do the same.
My Department is committed to ensuring that data relating to individuals are securely held and only ever used for the relevant business purposes. The Department’s commitment to safeguarding data is reflected in its use of advanced data processing and storage technology hosted in secure, State-owned and operated data centres and is reinforced by a range of legislative and administrative provisions that are designed to protect the rights and interests of individuals.
Neither the PSC nor the underlying public service identity data set contains any information relating to the holder’s use of public services.
The Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, as amended, restricts the sharing and use of the public service identity, PSI, data to a number of specified bodies set out in Schedule 5 to that Act and only in respect of a transaction a person has with that specified body. It is important to note, contrary to statements by some commentators, that the sharing of the PSI data set does not involve sharing information regarding use of public services.
A person is only required to undertake a SAFE 2 registration process once. When the PSC card reaches its expiry date a new photograph is taken to update the new card and the PSI data set. A person who is SAFE 2 registered can update other elements of their identity data set as these change, for example, if the person moves house.