Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (566)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

566. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if he will report on the recruitment of data protection experts by his office for dealing with the records from the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7276/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation will stand dissolved in law on 28th February 2021 and is due to submit its archive of records to my Department by that date. Former residents of Mother and Baby homes will be able to make a Subject Access Request (SAR) to the Department under the GDPR for access to their record.

The fundamental principles of GDPR will apply to these records as they do to any others: a person has a right to their personal data, but this is not an unqualified right. The release of that data must also not adversely affect the rights and freedoms of others.

In relation to the transfer of the Commission’s databases and records, my Department is working intensively to ensure that it is properly resourced to handle subject access requests from people who were resident in mother and baby homes. In this regard, my Department has established a new Unit to look after this hugely important and significant volume of work. Work is ongoing to ensure that there is a range of appropriate expertise including data protection expertise within the Unit.