We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

File photo Alamy Stock Photo

Irish European Parliament staff among those with passports leaked in major data breach

Staff were told by email that their data was accessed.

STAFF OF IRISH MEPS are among those who have had their passports and other personal documents accessed in a major data breach at the European Parliament. 

The Journal has spoken to a number of Irish staffers who say they are frustrated and concerned after being told by email yesterday that they were impacted. 

They expressed concern at a perceived lack of information from the Parliament in relation to the nature of the breach and the people behind it. 

Staff received an update from the Parliament yesterday on how the breach affected them.

This came over two weeks after they were first informed, on May 6, that the breach had occurred. The parliament identified the breach on April 25.

Staff were told earlier this month that their personal data may have been exposed to “unauthorised access by external parties” in an incident that occurred at the beginning of 2024. 

Yesterday, some MEP staff then received another email to inform them that their data was accessed. 

The email stated that the Parliament’s cybersecurity experts and the Luxembourg Police are continuing to seek clarity into the circumstances of the breach.

Staff were not told the nature of the breach or who was responsible but were asked to stay vigilant.

The email also said that the Parliament has not received any reports of attempts of identity theft in relation to the incident.

Speaking to The Journal, one parliamentary staffer for an Irish MEP said they find it “hugely frustrating” and that they don’t feel like there has been enough clarity from the Parliament on what the breach actually means. 

“They sent the list of documents that had all been accessed but I don’t actually know what that really means. Does it mean that there’s somebody somewhere who still has access to all the documents or did they just sort of see a big list and then move on?,” they said. 

The accessed documents were all related to the recruitment process of staff and included passports and ID cards; criminal records; civil status certificates; and education documents.

image (30) Details of the accessed documents sent in an email from the Parliament to a staffer.

Another Irish staffer told The Journal that all the staff in their office had been affected by the breach and all are very concerned. 

They said a staff committee representing European Parliament assistants has requested a meeting with the Parliament and President’s office to discuss what happens next. 

“It does seem to be a laissez-faire approach from a political body that supposedly takes GDPR seriously – the body that actually legislates for it. It’s really disappointing,” they said. 

The staffer also questioned why the breach was not identified sooner considering it happened earlier this year.

It’s understood that some staffers are considering making a complaint to the European Data Protection Supervisor.

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel