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Department of Health faces data dossier probe
Pic: Shutterstock

31 Mar 2021 / data law Print

Department of Health faces data-dossier probe

The data watchdog is to investigate revelations that the Department of Health gathered the personal data of children with autism who were involved in legal actions against the State.

The revelations emerged on RTÉ’s Prime Time programme last week.

The statutory inquiry will take place under section 110 of the Data Protection Act 2018.

The DPC says it will examine whether or not the Department of Health has discharged its obligations in connection with the data processing concerned.

The probe will determine whether or not any provisions of the legislation or the GDPR have been breached.


The RTÉ programme said the Department of Health had, over several years, been using information from private doctor consultations to build and maintain dossiers on the children.

Children’s Ombudsman Niall Muldoon said he was “very angry” after the revelations, while Autism charity AsIAm said it was “deeply concerned”.

The Department of Health said last week it was “normal practice for defendants to litigation to gather and maintain appropriate information in order to obtain legal advice and/or defend the proceedings”.

It added that an independent review by an external senior counsel last year had not identified any breach of the legislation on data protection.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland