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Gardaí use database to check up on daughters' boyfriends

The Data Protection Commissioner is conducting an audit of the Gardaí’s use of the Pulse database following a number of complaints.

Image: [File photo] Photocall Ireland

THE DATA PROTECTION Commissioner is investigating allegations that gardaí have been accessing the Pulse database to check up on their daughters boyfriends, among other things.

According to a report in today’s Irish Daily Mail (print edition only) gardaí have been using the Pulse system – which logs information about any incident involving members of the force – to illegally access information about people.

There have been complaints to the Data Protection Commissioner about gardaí running background checks on people their family members are involved with, and to check on the accident history of cars they’re thinking of buying.

According to the Daily Mail, a garda source has said that there is no widespread abuse of the Pulse database and that an investigation into the use of the system is not a problem.

The Commissioner’s annual report for 2010 detailed that a Code of Practice for garda use of the Pulse system which was agreed in 2007 was not being implemented. The report stated:

It is disappointing to report that, despite our repeated engagements on this issue, the monitoring of access by members of An Garda Síochána to Pulse falls short of the standards we expect. We wish to see significant progress by the Gardaí in pro-actively monitoring Pulse access in 2011 and will be carrying out an audit to satisfy ourselves of this progress.

Read more in today’s Irish Daily Mail (print edition only)

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Emer McLysaght

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