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Data Protection

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 June 2021

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Ceisteanna (360)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

360. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the nature of the data breaches experienced by his Department since 2018. [29309/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

My Department necessarily collects, processes, and stores significant volumes of personal data from our customers, staff, and service providers. In particular, the effective delivery of passport and consular services for Irish citizens at home and abroad is a central component of the Department's work and necessitates the processing of personal data.

My Department endeavours to safeguard the personal data that it processes and takes its responsibilities in this regard very seriously. We monitor closely our compliance rate; in 2020, just 0.025% of the total number of passports and Foreign Birth Registration certificates that issued were subject to a suspected data breach. We continue to work towards lowering this figure further in 2021.

Since 2018, the data breaches recorded by this Department have been deemed low or medium risk to the data subject. The main cause of data breaches is human error. Examples of such an error causing a data breach would include incorrectly addressed correspondence issued by post and email. The remainder of breaches are largely due to external unintentional acts. These are mainly attributable to documents that are correctly addressed but are lost in transit through the postal system.

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