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Court challenge to DPC finding that public service card has no basis in law
DPC chief Helen Dixon

04 Sep 2019 / data privacy Print

Court challenge to DPC finding that public service card is unlawful

The Government may take legal action against the Data Protection Commissioner in a bid to push through its controversial Public Services Card (PSC).

Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon (pictured) in a report issued last month, found no legal basis for demanding the use of the PSC in order to access a range of public services beyond social welfare payments. The DPC said the card could only be used as an ID for social welfare claimants.

The report also said that data on citizens collected through the PSC by other Government departments should be deleted.

The Irish Times reports that today’s Cabinet meeting has discussed a legal challenge to the DPC’s findings.


The Government looks set to challenge the DPC’s decision in court, and to push for continued use of the card. It is believed that the Government will also refuse to publish the report in full.

The Department of Social Protection and the Department of Public Expenditure have both taken legal advice on the matter, from both the Attorney General and external counsel.

The Cabinet heard today that failing to challenge the DPC’s decision could leave the Government open to damages claims, and could affect future policy decisions.


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