Data Protection Ireland

Making a data protection breach complaint

data protection issues

What are data protection & privacy issues?

Data protection and privacy are important issues that affect everyone. In today’s digital age, personal information is frequently collected, used, and shared, and individuals must control how their data is handled.

Data protection laws provide a framework for protecting individuals’ privacy and ensuring their personal information is used fairly and responsibly.

It is important for individuals to understand their data protection rights and to take steps to protect their privacy.

If you have any questions or concerns about data protection and privacy, our experienced solicitors can provide guidance and assistance.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to speak to one of our solicitors about a potential data protection issue.

Your Data Protection Rights in Ireland

Data protection rights ensure that individuals control their personal data and how it is used.

In Ireland, the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provide a framework for protecting individuals’ data protection rights.

Under these laws, individuals have the right to:

  1. Know what personal data is being collected about them and why: This includes the right to be informed about the purposes for which the data will be used and how long it will be kept.
  2. Access their personal data: Individuals have the right to request a copy of their personal data and be told how it is used.
  3. Have their personal data corrected: If an individual believes their personal data is inaccurate or outdated, they have the right to request that it be corrected.
  4. Have their personal data erased: In certain circumstances, individuals have the right to request that their personal data be erased, such as if it is no longer needed for the purpose it was collected.
  5. Object to processing their personal data: Individuals have the right to object to their personal data being processed for certain purposes, such as marketing or research.
  6. Restrict the processing of their personal data: In certain circumstances, individuals have the right to request that the processing of their personal data be restricted, such as while a complaint is being resolved.
  7. Have their personal data transferred: In certain circumstances, individuals have the right to request that their personal data be transferred to another organisation.

If you believe that your data protection rights have been violated, you can seek legal advice and take action.

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What Happens if Your Data Has Been Breached?

A data breach is a security incident in which personal data is accessed, used, or disclosed without authorisation.

Data breaches can occur in various ways, including cyber attacks, hacking, malware, and accidental disclosures.

Data breaches can have severe consequences for individuals and organisations.

Some potential issues that may arise as a result of a data breach include the following:

  1. Identity theft: If personal information, such as names, addresses, and financial details, is accessed or disclosed in a data breach, it may be used for identity theft. This can result in unauthorised charges, fraud, or other financial losses for the affected individuals.
  2. Loss of privacy: A data breach may result in the disclosure of sensitive or confidential information, such as medical records or personal correspondence, leading to a loss of privacy for the affected individuals.
  3. Damage to reputation: A data breach may damage an organisation’s reputation, leading to a loss of trust and confidence from customers and clients. This can have serious financial consequences for the organisation.
  4. Legal and regulatory consequences: Data breaches may trigger legal and regulatory investigations, leading to fines and penalties for the organisation responsible.

What to Do if You’re Data Has Been Breached

If your data has been exposed following a data breach, it is important to take immediate action to protect yourself and your personal information.

Here are a few steps you can take:

  • Notify the relevant authorities: In Ireland, you should notify the Data Protection Commission (DPC) of the data breach immediately. You can do this through their online notification form or by contacting them directly.
  • Change your passwords: If the data breach involves your passwords, changing them as soon as possible is essential, particularly for any accounts connected to your personal information.
  • Monitor your accounts: Monitor your accounts for suspicious activity, such as unauthorised charges or withdrawals. If you notice anything unusual, immediately report it to your bank or financial institution.
  • Consider credit monitoring: A credit monitoring service can alert you to any unusual activity on your credit report, such as applications for credit in your name. This can help you catch any potential identity theft early on.
  • Seek legal advice: If you believe that your data protection rights have been violated due to the data breach, you may have the right to seek legal remedies.


Our team of experienced employment solicitors can help you understand your rights and options and assist you in taking the necessary steps to address the situation.

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Recent Data Protection Issues in Ireland

Recent data protection issues in Ireland have attracted media attention and raised concerns about protecting personal data. Some examples include:

  1. HSE data breach: In July 2021, the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) suffered a significant data breach that exposed the personal data of thousands of patients. The breach occurred when a cyber attack targeted the HSE’s IT systems, resulting in the unauthorised access and disclosure of patient data.
  2. Facebook data scandal: In 2018, it was revealed that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had accessed the personal data of millions of Facebook users without their consent. The company used this data to target political advertising during the 2016 US presidential election. The scandal led to regulatory investigations and significant reputational damage for Facebook.
  3. GDPR enforcement: In 2019, the Data Protection Commission (DPC) announced that it was investigating several high-profile data protection issues in Ireland, including the use of facial recognition technology by the Gardaí (Irish police) and the processing of personal data by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.


These investigations have highlighted the importance of compliance with data protection laws and the potential consequences for organisations that fail to protect personal data.

How Employment Matters Can Assist You

Employment Mattera specialises in data protection and privacy and can assist clients in various ways. Some of our services include:

  1. Advising compliance with data protection and privacy laws: This may include providing guidance on ensuring a business complies with laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union.
  2. Assisting with developing and implementing data protection and privacy policies: A law firm can help a business draft policies that outline how it handles personal data and ensure that these policies align with relevant laws and regulations.
  3. Responding to data breaches: If a business experiences a data breach, Employment Matters can guide how to respond and minimise the impact on the business and its customers.
  4. Representing clients in data protection and privacy disputes: A law firm can also represent clients in legal disputes that arise concerning data protection and privacy, such as lawsuits brought by customers or regulatory authorities.
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Data Protection Ireland FAQs:

In Ireland, data protection and privacy are governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. These laws provide specific rules on how personal data can be collected, used, and shared and give individuals certain rights in relation to their personal data.

Personal data is any information related to an identified or identifiable living individual. This could include a person’s name, address, phone number, email address, date of birth, and other information that could be used to identify an individual.

Individuals have several rights under data protection and privacy laws in Ireland, including the right to be informed about how their personal data is being used, the right to access their personal data, the right to have their personal data rectified if it is incorrect, and the right to have their personal data erased in certain circumstances.

To ensure compliance with data protection and privacy laws in Ireland, businesses should implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect personal data and ensure that they only collect, use, and share personal data per the law.


They should also have a clear and concise privacy policy that outlines how they handle personal data and ensure that their employees know their obligations under data protection and privacy laws.

If a business breaches Ireland’s data protection and privacy laws, it may be subject to fines and other penalties. In addition, individuals may be able to bring a legal claim against the business if their personal data has been misused or mishandled. It is, therefore, important for businesses to ensure that they are in compliance with data protection and privacy laws to avoid these potential consequences.

How does it work?

Do you have a claim?

We start by establishing whether or not you have a claim.

Get planning

Then, if you do and you want to pursue it, we’ll help guide you through the complex process of making that claim.

Don't delay!

That said, you only have a limited time to lodge your complaint to the WRC or Labour Court, so act fast.

Has your Data Been Breached?

Contact us for legal advice to protect your data or your businesses data.