State officials have admitted the broad use of the Public Services Card beyond the social welfare system has no basis in law

The Department of Social Protection has settled its Circuit Court appeal against a 2019 ruling by the Data Protection Commission ahead of going to trial.

The regulator’s welcomed the department’s admission that the “blanket and indefinite” retention of data in PSC applications was not in line with privacy rights.

Solicitor Simon McGarr, director of Data Compliance Europe, says with four million of the cards now issued, it’s a highly significant finding:

“It was known to be illegal since 2019 and it was said to be illegal by both the regulator and by civil society long before that, and the Department of the state continued to insist that they knew better today’s settlement of their appeal is the final acceptance that the DPC was correct and civil society is correct in saying they did not have a legal basis for how they were using the public services card.”


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