Assistant Data Protection Commissioner, Tony Delaney, has recently welcomed the outcome of prosecution proceedings which concluded at Letterkenny Circuit Court and which were taken by An Garda Síochána against a former civil servant.
In this case the defendant was accused of a number of charges of receiving corrupt payments between 2008 and 2010 from two private investigators in exchange for supplying them with personal information held on the computer databases of his then employer, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.
Mr Delaney said that the ruling serves “as a very clear warning to employees in all sectors against snooping through, or disclosing to, unauthorised third parties personal data that may be at their disposal in their workplace for the performance of their duties. Employees are given access to records of personal data for work-related purposes. Any deviation by employees from those official purposes, such as accessing records to obtain information on behalf of family, friends or others, constitutes a breach of data protection legislation which could result in serious consequences for the employees concerned“.
A full copy of the press release is available here.