More complaints, data breach notifications in 2012 – Data Protection Commissioner report

20 May 2013

Ireland’s Office of the Data Protection Commissioner opened more complaints for investigation last year than the year before, saw an increase in the number of data breach notifications, and carried out audits of 40 organisations, the Data Protection Commissioner’s annual report for 2012 reveals.

The office opened 1,349 complaints for investigation, surpassing last year’s record high number by 188. Data security breach notifications amounted to 1,666 notifications.

Complaints from individuals regarding difficulties gaining access to their personal data held by organisations accounted for just less than one-third of the overall complaints investigated during 2012. 

There has also been a marked increase in the number of complaints under the Privacy in Electronics Regulations during 2012 (up from 253 in 2011 to 606 during 2012).

The report includes details of the prosecution of three insurance companies for data protection registration offences after social welfare data, sourced via a private investigator, was found on insurance claim files held by those companies.

The agency also reported on a High Court ruling that Dublin Bus must supply copy of CCTV footage of an incident involving a member of the public who requested the video under the right of access.

The report also contains information on audits of the INFOSYS database administered by the Department of Social Protection; the start of the audit of An Garda Síochána; a summary of the outcome of the follow-up audit of Facebook Ireland; and a summary of the findings and recommendations of the audits of reporting processes within lenders to the Irish Credit Bureau.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic