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Minister for Justice must investigate any potential data breach in case of Eric Xue – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

23 October, 2018 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

This afternoon in the Dáil Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire raised the issue of how the media obtained information relating to passport claims for Eric Xue with Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan.

Deputy Ó Laoghaire called on the Minister to investigate what appears to be a clear breach of data protection.

The Cork South Central TD said;

“A report carried in the Sunday Times on this weekend stated that 'the Chinese mother of a nine-year-old boy, whose school in Bray is campaigning to prevent his deportation, obtained an Irish passport for him under false pretences'.

“It begs the question as to how this information came in to the public domain. This information would have been on file either with the Department of Justice or INIS, or the Gardaí.

"If this information was leaked, that is extremely serious and a major breach of data protection.

‘The Minister needs to tell us if he believes that this information did not come from his Department, or any agency answerable to the Department.

“Indeed Minister Flanagan headed up the Data Protection Bill earlier this year, so it is an issue which he is quite familiar with.

“If it was to be the case that Gardaí, the Department, or INIS were briefing negatively against a 9 year old boy, and releasing such personal data to the media, we would be looking at a potential data breach with far reaching consequences.

“The Minister said he didn’t wish to speculate, but it is important that the Minister investigates this thoroughly, and if were found to be the case that such a breach did occur, and the Minister chose not to investigate it when it was highlighted - it would be a serious failing on his part." 

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