Data breaches triple in space of a year
Incidents of data breaches tripled last year, with more than 400 instances reported, according to the Office of the Data Protection Commission.
A number of probes have been launched into civil servants suspected of accessing information about individuals out of curiosity, or for profit. But some data leaks out through human error.
Last year, 1,500 sensitive health records were removed from a Dublin office of the HSE and emailed to an outside organisation.
The Irish Independent revealed last July that 51 laptops, 21 BlackBerrys, one Mac computer and two memory sticks had been lost by 19 government departments and employees since 2008.
But it is not just the Government that has suffered data breaches. Already this year, hackers stole the details of just under 2,000 people in an attack on the Fine Gael website. And just last month, the GAA launched a probe into unauthorised access of a database containing the names and addresses of more than half a million GAA members.