Data protection watchdog to bring enforcement proceedings over Public Services Card scheme

The Data Protection Commission is planning to launch enforcement proceedings against the Department of Social Protection in relation to the Public Services Card (PSC) scheme, according to reports.

The watchdog’s report on the scheme, which found that its expansion had no legal basis, was published by the department last night.

However, Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty has disagreed with its findings and has no plan to revise the scheme.

Ms Doherty said her department has “strong legal advice that the existing social welfare legislation provides a robust legal basis for my department to issue PSCs for use by a number of bodies across the public sector”.

The Government says it believes that it would be inappropriate, and potentially unlawful, to withdraw or modify the use of the PSC or the data processes that underpin it as has been requested by the DPC.

Graham Doyle, head of communications at Data Protection Commission, told The Irish Times: “We welcome the publication of the report. As previously stated, the process of preparation of the enforcement notice is now under way.”

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