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A controversial Dublin café is at it again after publishing CCTV footage of a customer

The White Moose Café has been no stranger to controversy in recent months.

whitemo The White Moose Café Source: Facebook

A DUBLIN CAFÉ has risked the wrath of the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) by publishing a letter from the Commissioner on its Facebook page.

The White Moose Café (which is owned by the same company as the adjoining and similarly headline-friendly Charleville Lodge Hotel) in Phibsborough published the letter as accompaniment to a lengthy post on the social network decrying the reasoning behind the letter.

The hotel and café have been in the headlines on numerous occasions in recent months for their aggressive marketing style.

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In October the café went viral across the world after the management ‘threatened’ to shoot any vegans who entered the premises.

Other controversial stories emanating from the hotel include manager Paul Stenson suggesting that those not willing to pay rack rates for a hotel stay during a season of high demand should stay in a homeless hostel or dog kennel, and offering discounts to those who don’t pay their Irish Water bills.

This latest rumpus concerns an incident in September of this year which saw Stenson publish a photo still from CCTV footage of the café showing a customer eating a meal.

Stenson contends that the woman shown had given the café a bad review online. In publishing the footage his aim (in showing the woman apparently happily eating her food) was to show that the bad review was unwarranted.

It is that CCTV image that is the subject of the complaint to the Commissioner by the woman in question.

Under the Data Protection Act the use of the likes of CCTV footage must be “adequate, relevant and not excessive”.

Inappropriate

In its letter to Stenson the DPC asks for an explanation as to why he considered it appropriate to publish the woman’s image in the manner that he did.

Stenson’s lengthy rebuttal to that letter (in which he suggests that the person who checked into his café was “probably a c**t”, and thereafter refers to them as a “c**tomer” as opposed to “customer”) suggests that he was entitled to publish the customer’s image online given she had written a bad review of the café yet in the CCTV footage she appears to be enjoying her food.

Stenson also criticises the Data Protection officer’s grammar in the course of the letter.

Attached to Stenson’s Facebook post are both a photo of the letter, and the original screenshot from the CCTV footage that caused the letter to be written in the first place.

TheJournal.ie has contacted both Stenson and the Data Protection Commissioner for comment.

The DPC confirmed that an investigation is taking place but declined to comment further.

Read: This Dublin café’s ‘war on vegans’ is going viral all over the world

Read: ‘He was traumatised’: Beaumont Hospital apologises over care provided to Gerry Feeney

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