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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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Here's what Irish Water say they'll do with your PPS number

Want to keep your 30,000 litre allowance? Irish Water will need to keep your PPS number indefinitely.

Image: Water tap/Shutterstock

THE DEPARTMENT OF Social Protection has written to Irish Water asking them how they will use people’s PPS numbers.

In response, Irish Water told the Department that it will only use people’s PPS numbers to “validate eligibility for water allowances”.

The semi-state body said it is “likely” that the numbers will be shared with the Department for this purpose, but added that this process has not yet been finalised.

In the response to the Department, Irish Water said it was “in the initial stages of gathering PPSN details from customers” and “will remove individual PPSN details from our systems when the PPSN is no longer required to support a claim for a water allowance”.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie this evening, Irish Water’s Press Officer Antoinette Tyrell confirmed that the organisation would hold onto the primary bill payer’s PPS number for as long as they wish to receive their 30,000 litre allowance – so, indefinitely.

Tyrell said that when children’s allowances are no longer applicable, i.e. when they turn 18, Irish Water will cease to retain their PPS number. Each minor in receipt of child benefit is entitled to an allowance of 21,000 litres per year.

Data Protection

In the response to the Department, Irish Water has said that it has taken steps to ensure it is fully compliant with Data Protection legislation.

Our staff receive information security and data protection training and sign an Acceptable Usage Policy for use of IT systems. Access to systems is granted on a strict ‘need to know’, based on users roles within Irish Water.

Earlier today, former junior environment minister Fergus O’Dowd described the setting up of Irish Water as an “unmitigated disaster”, prompting spokeswoman Elizabeth Arnett to deny there was a “bonus culture” at the organisation.

Read: What will your water allowance of 30,000 litres get you?

Related: Irish Water: ‘It’s simply not a bonus culture’

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Órla Ryan

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