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Data Protection

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 3 March 2021

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Questions (1003)

Catherine Murphy


1003. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health if he is satisfied with the standard of data protection compliance in respect of the Covid-19 tracker application; the number of complaints notified to him that have been made to the Data Protection Commissioner in respect of the application; the way in which personal details are being processed by the application; and the way in which contact tracing information and-or data are processed and stored. [12137/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I assume when the Deputy refers to the Covid-19 tracker application she is referring to Covid Tracker App (the app that is used on peoples smartphones).

The Covid Tracker App was designed with privacy at its core with minimum data stored within the app itself. This data is stored within the phone and only released to the HSE if (a) the user received a close contact alert and (b) the user consents to share that data - which ordinarily relates to making a contact number available for a call back from contact tracing operations.

A full Data Privacy Impact Assessment (DPIA) was developed as part of the app and shared with the Data Protection Commission before go live. The app also contains a Data Privacy Information Notice, which together with the DPIA describe the way in which information is processed and stored. The DPIA is published on the internet and the source code is open sourced so anyone can inspect it. All this was done to ensure transparency and enhance trust.

The department have not received and complaints in relation to the apps compliance with data protection that could not be addressed or required onward notification to the Data Protection Commissioner.