Thursday, 12 December 2019

Questions (247)

Louise O'Reilly


247. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the reason the new national children's hospital has chosen to install a system (details supplied); if his attention has been drawn to plans to make an existing database of facial images available for matching purposes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52355/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The safety of patients, visitors and staff at the new children’s hospital is of paramount importance to everyone working on the new children’s hospital project.

Stanley Security Systems, who have been working in this area for more than 25 years, were successful in the competitive procurement process for the installation of the security systems at the new children’s hospital.

There continues to be significant technological developments and innovation in the area of security systems and, as would be expected, the procurement process undertaken sought to ensure that the equipment procured is fully future proofed.

Less than 3% of the cameras procured for the new children’s hospital have the potential for high definition facial recognition capabilities. These cameras have many capabilities, and can also be used in the same way as remaining 97% of the cameras, which do not have facial recognition capabilities.

It has not yet been decided which aspect of the security systems’ capabilities will be used. This decision will be taken nearer the opening of the hospital by Children’s Health Ireland and will be fully in line with Irish and European data protection and privacy legislation and guidelines, to ensure that the occupants of the hospital have the appropriate protections and security afforded to them, in line with their privacy rights.