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Tuesday 17 July 2018

Key questions that remain unanswered

Public Services Card
Public Services Card

How many people have been denied social protection payments because they refused to register for a PSC?

This appears to be unknown. The Department of Social Protection says it doesn't collect data on the number of people who have had payments suspended for this reason.

Who will have access to the personal data contained on the cards and being stored by the Government?

Neither the Departments of Public Expenditure (DPER) nor Social Protection specified exactly who will have access to the data. Both pointed to 2005 legislation that lists more than 100 organisations, including government departments, the Revenue, hospitals, An Post and the Companies Registration Office among many others.

DPER said the information is restricted to organisations that have the legal right to access it.

But it said that Social Protection would have to be contacted to see which agencies have been allowed access to date.

Last night, that department did not specify whether this had taken place.

Under what circumstances, if any, would a child be required to have a PSC?

Social Protection did not provide an answer to this question other than to say anyone over 16 could apply in their own right.

What forms of security - both physical and digital - are in place to protect the information?

Social Protection wouldn't get into specifics but said it is "committed to protecting the rights and privacy of individuals".

It said: "The State uses various layers of server, network and data centre security. These are routinely and independently tested for robustness."

Irish Independent

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