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The Data Sharing Agreement re the Public Services Card

It’s a requirement that public bodies sharing personal data, and relying on the provisions of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 to do so, have an agreement in place first. I wrote in 2014 about the (eventually)  fatal consequences for Irish Water’s attempts to rely on the 2005 Act in the absence of that Ministerial agreement. (It was illegal, and the hundreds of thousands of PPSN records Irish Water collected were subsequently scrapped.) So, having read through a good deal of documentation […]

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Submission to the Oireachtas Committee on Health re Part 2 of the General Scheme of the Health Information and Patient Safety Bill

This submission was made today, slightly after the deadline of 3pm. Nonetheless, I have submitted it for the consideration of the Oireachtas Committee on Health in response to their call for submissions. I post it here for reference. Printable version can be downloaded here: *** HEALTH INFORMATION AND PATIENT SAFETY BILL Analysis of Part 2: PERSONAL DATA, PERSONAL HEALTH DATA AND PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION By Simon McGarr, McGarr Solicitors Section 5 (1) “Nothing in this Act shall be construed as […]

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McGarr Solicitors representing Syrian refugees

UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis

McGarr Solicitors is acting for a number of Syrian refugees being held in Greece including Ensaf, 13, and her father Bashar. They are challenging the decisions of the European Council that have led to them being kept apart from Ensaf’s mother Layali and her brother Riyad, 15, now safely resettled in Germany. Last year their home in Syria was bombed, and the family’s priority was to use what little money they could scrape together to get their deeply traumatised son […]

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Application by EFF and DRI in DPC v Facebook and Schrems

On Friday 17th June 2016, McGarr Solicitors attended before Mr. Justice McGovern in the High Court on behalf of Digital Rights Ireland and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a US non-profit. Counsel applied for leave to file papers to support applications by our clients to be joined as amici curiae in the case of Data Protection Commissioner -v- Facebook Ireland Limited and Maximillian Schrems. The DPC is seeking a reference to the CJEU arising from Mr. Schrems’ complaint regarding the transfer […]

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Mass deportation is a mass breach of EU law

It is in Ireland’s interest (and the interest of the people of the EU) that the European Union endure. It is possible that the European Council http://europa.eu/about-eu/institutions-bodies/european-council/index_en.htm (including Enda Kenny) made a major error on 18th March 2016 (two days ago), undermining the EU. Reputedly, the European Council agreed the terms of a Joint Action Plan with Turkey. Currently, the exact terms of the Joint Action Plan have not been released to the public. Instead, the public has been issued […]

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How does the FTC know what data is being transferred from the EU to the US?

Seal of the US Federal Trade Commission

On the 8th January last, a report caught my eye. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, one of the Federal Trade Commissioners was talking about the Schrems case and its potential economic impact. Commissioner Brill said that the “vast majority of data impacted by Safe Harbour decision is HR data, which impacts jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.” I was struck by this assertion. It seemed unlikely, to say the least, that the volume of data transferred […]

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The Privacy Shield: The deal on EU/US Safe Harbour data that wasn’t there

Cartoon of Safe Harbor wreakage

Yesterday the EU Commission and the US government announced that, having burst past the deadline of Sunday set by Europe’s Data Protection Authorities (collectively called the Art 29 Working Party because that’s how the EU is), they had secured an 11th hour deal on transfers of personal data across the Atlantic. Safe Harbour (and Safe Harbor) was no more, they trumpeted, replaced by something that is spelled the same in English for both parties- The Privacy Shield. These are some […]

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Safe Harbour: Irresistible force meets an immovable object

Aircraft Carrier by Matt Morgan

It’s an old Internet joke, but a good one. It takes the form of a transcript of radio communications at sea. The identity of the two sides shifts depending on who’s telling the story- UK and Ireland, Spain and Portugal etc. What stays the same is that a huge military ship from a powerful imperial nation is told by a little nation’s vessel to change course to prevent a collision. It refuses and demands the other party change course. The […]

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HSE releases handwritten notes of meetings with DPC re eHealth

Handwritten notes of HSE DPC meeting

I have written before about the HSE’s claim that no notes of meetings about the eHealth Individual Health Identifier project with the Data Protection Commissioner’s office existed. As a result of an internal review, the Department has now reversed this position and issued the below sets of (partially) handwritten notes. Outcome of FOI Internal Review HSE and IHI

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European Arrest Warrant Act 2003: Procedures and Problems. “A Serious Trivial Problem”

In the EU, “extradition” is by means of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). Any member state may issue an EAW and request its execution in any other member state. Very serious problems can arise in the system. The EAW system is professedly based on the high regard that the national judiciaries have for each other. In fact, they do not have such a high regard for each other. Notwithstanding, like characters in a Samuel Beckett play, they “go on” with […]

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