Dublin, 3 September 2019
A group of international privacy and technology experts has sharply criticised the government decision to appeal the Data Protection Commissioner’s findings on the Public Services Card. They also condemned the outrageous decision to refuse to publish the DPC report.
The tech experts were in Dublin for a conference on privacy and information rights co-organised by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL).
An unprecedented Scenario
Elizabeth Farries, ICCL’s information rights and programme manager said
This is a worrying and possibly unprecedented scenario where a statutory body has conducted a two year investigation on the public’s behalf and the Government is not only hiding that report from public view, but now it seems it intends to spend public money to challenge its findings.
Daniel Kahn Gillmor, technology expert at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said
Ireland is a critical global location as it hosts significant points of presence for major Internet corporations like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and others. So Irish choices about data governance, stewardship, and regulation have a serious impact.
We should celebrate when the Irish Data Protection Commission issues important privacy-preserving findings, like those about the Public Services Card. And it is very troubling that the Irish government would consider undermining that office as the Commission works to defend the rights of people subject to its oversight.
Liam Herrick, Executive Director of ICCL said
Government has today signalled its intention to act illegally, to violate our privacy, and deny individuals services they are legally entitled to. We are demanding that the DPC report be published immediately and that government respect the independence of Ireland’s statutory body charged with protecting our privacy rights.
Kranti LC, Executive Director of India’s Human Rights Law Network said
Our experience in India has been that consolidation of people’s data is neither secure nor necessary be it about the use of this data or its safety. The ruling of the DPC is a welcome step in the right direction. I am confident that if the DPC decision is not respected forthwith in letter and spirit, the Irish people who have always been fierce about their civil and political rights will ensure its compliance.
Faith Kirui, of Kenya’s Human Rights Commission said
This appears to be a very serious attack on the privacy rights of Irish people. The Kenyan Human Rights Commission stands alongside our colleagues at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties in their demands for the government to respect the rights by the Irish people
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Notes for editors:
The experts are attending a hackathon organised by the International Network of Civil Liberties Organisations (INCLO). ICCL is a member organisation of INCLO.
Daniel Kahn Gillmor a.k.a dkg is Senior Staff Technologist dealing with ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, focused on the way our technical infrastructure shapes society and impacts civil liberties.
Kranti LC – Executive Director anddigital security programme manager at India’s Human Rights Law Network
Faith Kirui– Technologist, Kenyan Human Rights Commission
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties is Ireland’s leading independent human rights campaigning organisation. We monitor, educate and campaign to secure human rights for everyone in Ireland.
See more about ICCL’s work on the Public Services Card