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Taoiseach falls far short of the mark in statement on Public Services Card – McDonald

31 August, 2017 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Responding to the Taoiseach’s denials that the Public Services Card is a National ID Scheme by the back door Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald said “the expanded roll out of the Card has many of the hallmarks of a National ID scheme; if it walks like a duck and swims like a duck, it’s usually a duck”.

The Dublin TD said:

“Both the Taoiseach and Finance Minister today failed in their statements to address the myriad of concerns regarding data protection and the legal basis for the extended use of the Public Services Card. They provided no clarity as to where peoples’ personal information is stored, what information is stored, and who can access it. 

“Neither the Taoiseach or the Finance Minister addressed the substantive concern that the card is in effect a compulsory National ID Scheme. Valid concerns have been raised that the extended roll-out of the card has many of the hallmarks of National Identity Scheme. So if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, well, it’s usually a duck.

“We have yet to see a comprehensive statement from Government setting out in full the collective Government’s plan for the roll out of the card and the legislative basis for its requirement across multiple departments and agencies. This just isn’t good enough.

“Government must be accountable to the people. Efforts to pull a fast one and bypass public debate only serve to deepen the people distrust in our political institutions and flies in the face of good governance and public administration.” 

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