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Dept of Health and Data Protection Commissioner files on Individual Health Identifiers

Seeing as everyone is very busy with the election, I thought I’d give you something a bit different to read.

So, thanks to an FOI request, please find below the documents details exactly what has and has not been agreed between the Department of Health and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in advance of the DPC receiving any complaints from the public.

The files raise issues about the appropriateness of the relationship between the Independent regulator and the State it is meant to regulate.

However, they also show that, close as they were, even the DPC weren’t happy with the HSE being put in charge of any IHI database. At the very first meeting, the minutes note;

Expressed concerns about any proposal to locate the Designated Issuing Authority in the HSE and in particular within PCRS, as currently operated; the DPC currently has a number of concerns about PCRS

Guess what? The HSE ended up as the IHI governing body.

The documents also make clear that ‘mission creep’ for the health identifiers was baked into the plan from the very start. The DPC is memo’d as

Questioned the intention to use the proposed Health Number in the administration of “rent allowance”.

Plenty of other interesting things for the curious reader below.

HSE-DPC Correspondence Re IHI FOI by Simon McGarr