Mayo Fianna Fail deputy Lisa Chambers says the government’s Public Services Card scheme was flawed from the start, and is now deemed to have broken data protection laws

The State has been told it must delete data held on 3.2 million citizens, which was gathered as part of the roll-out of the Public Services Card, as there is no lawful basis for retaining it.

In a highly critical report on its investigation into the card, the Data Protection Commission found there was no legal reason to make individuals obtain the card in order to access State services such as renewing a driving licence or applying for a college grant.

While the card will still be sought from people accessing some services directly administered by the Department of Social Protection, such as claiming social welfare payments, the commission’s report represents a major blow to the scope of the project, which has proved politically contentious and faced strong opposition from data-privacy campaigners.

Deputy Chambers told Midwest News that the findings of the Data Commision Regulator is quite scathing on this scheme

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