When you give your personal details to an organisation or individual, they have a duty to keep these details private and safe. This process is known as data protection. We refer to organisations or individuals who control the contents and use of your personal details as ‘data controllers’.
Most of us give information about ourselves to groups such as Government bodies, banks, insurance companies, medical professionals and telephone companies to use their services or meet certain conditions. Organisations or individuals can also get information about us from other sources. Under data protection law, you have rights regarding the use of these personal details and data controllers have certain responsibilities in how they handle this information.
The Data Protection Act 1988 is the Act that introduced aspects of personal data protection into Irish Law. The Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003 amended the 1988 Act or was enacted to bring Irish Law into line with the European elective of 1995 which required member states to protect people’s fundamental rights and freedoms in particular their right to privacy with respect to the processing of personal data. Under of the Acts as implemented a data subject (living individual) has rights regarding the use of your personal details and the data controllers (Government Bodies, Banks, Insurance Bodies, Medical Professionals and others) have certain responsibilities in how they handle this information.