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Data regulator to conduct audit of every Irish political party

The audit will inquire into the processing of personal data by parties over the past three years.

Image: Shutterstock/Song_about_summer

THE DATA PROTECTION Commission (DPC) will conduct an audit of every Irish political party to inquire into their processing of personal data over the past three years.

The DPC has written to each political party to inform them of this decision. 

Deputy commissioner Graham Doyle said the data protection audit will “inquire into the processing of personal data since 25 May, 2018″ by each party acting as a data controller.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect in the EU on this date. 

Doyle said the audit, first reported by the Irish Independent today, will inquire into a number of matters including:

  • The consideration of each party to appoint a data protection officer
  • The carrying out of data protection impact assessments
  • The provision of transparent information to data subjects
  • The keeping of databases containing personal information of voters, party members and the exercise of data rights and security on these databases

Information stored on a Sinn Féin database referred to as the “Abú system” became a source of controversy last month, with the DPC raising a number of concerns about it.

Party officials were told to use personal information posted online to establish the address of a potential voters.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald insisted the database is nothing more than information contained on the electoral register, amid claims Sinn Féin was collecting data on voters from Facebook.

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The DPC sought information about how it uses its database and the information it has collected from social media.

A data protection officer had been appointed and a data protection impact assessment was being undertaken after the DPC contacted the party. 

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