DPC - Tusla Child and Family Agency

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DPC - Tusla Child and Family Agency (IN-19-12-8)
LogoIE.png
Authority: DPC (Ireland)
Jurisdiction: Ireland
Relevant Law: Article 32(1) GDPR
Article 33(1) GDPR
Article 58(2)(d) GDPR
Article 58(2)(b) GDPR
Article 58(2)(i) GDPR
s143 Data Protection Act
Type: Investigation
Outcome: Violation Found
Decided: 21.05.2020
Published: 04.11.2020
Fine: 40000 EUR
Parties: n/a
National Case Number/Name: Tusla Child and Family Agency (IN-19-12-8)
European Case Law Identifier: n/a
Appeal: n/a
Original Language(s): English
Original Source: Irish Data Protection Commissioner (in EN)
Initial Contributor: n/a

The Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) fined Tusla (the Irish Child and Family Agency) €75000 for “unintentionally providing” the personal data of children to third parties in three separate incidents.

English Summary[edit | edit source]

Facts[edit | edit source]

The DPC commenced an inquiry after Tusla notified the DPC of three data breaches.

The breaches all involved a failure to redact personal data when providing documents to third parties, including:

-giving the father of two children in care their foster carer’s address

-giving a person who was accused of child sexual abuse the address of the child who made the complaint and the telephone number of the child’s mother

-giving the grandmother of a child in care the address and contact details of the child’s foster parents and the location of the child’s school.


Dispute[edit | edit source]

Did the breaches by Tusla infringe Articles 32-34 of the GDPR?

Holding[edit | edit source]

The DPC held that Tusla infringed Article 32(1) GDPR by failing to carry out measures that would have ensured an appropriate level of security of the data, such as redacting the names and contact details of the children.

The DPC also held that the third breach also violated Article 33(1), because of a failure to notify the DPC without undue delay.

Aside from the €75000 fine, the DPC also ordered Tusla to bring its processing operations into compliance with Article 32(1) and issued reprimands in respect of the infringements, pursuant to Articles 58(2)(b), (d), and (i) GDPR respectively.

Comment[edit | edit source]

Procedure for imposing fines:

Under section 143 of the Ireland Data Protection Act 2018, a DPC decision to issue a fine to a controller or processor must be confirmed by the Circuit Court in Ireland before the fine can be imposed. The DPC must apply to the Circuit Court to confirm its decision to impose a fine after the expiration of time period where the controller or processor can appeal the decision.

According to the DPC, this is its first application to the Circuit Court to confirm a decision to fine since the entry into force of the GDPR.

At the time of submitting this decision to GDPRhub, the Circuit Court confirmation was “unreported” and unavailable in an online format that the general public could access.

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English Machine Translation of the Decision[edit | edit source]

The decision below is a machine translation of the English original. Please refer to the English original for more details.

Data Protection Commission Fine on Tusla Child and Family Agency Confirmed in Court
===================================================================================

04th November 2020 - Press Release

The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) today had the decision to
impose an administrative fine on Tusla Child and Family Agency confirmed
in the Dublin Circuit Court. The application to confirm the decision to
impose an administrative fine of €75,000 was made pursuant to Section 143
of the Data Protection Act 2018. This was the first fine issued under the
GDPR in Ireland following a statutory inquiry and is the first application
under Section 143.

This inquiry was commenced in respect of three personal data breaches
notified by Tusla to the DPC. All three personal data breaches occurred in
circumstances where Tusla failed to redact personal data when providing
documents to third parties. The first personal data breach occurred when
Tusla unintentionally provided the father of two children in care with
their foster carer’s address. The second breach occurred when Tusla
unintentionally provided an individual who was accused of child sexual
abuse with the address of the child who made the complaint and with her
mother’s telephone number. The third breach occurred when Tusla
unintentionally provided the grandmother of a child in care with the
address and contact details of the child’s foster parents and the location
of the child’s school.

Decision
--------

* The decision found that Tusla infringed Article 32(1) of the GDPR by
  failing to implement appropriate organisational measures to ensure a level
  of security appropriate to the risk presented by its processing of
  personal data in respect of its sharing of documents with third parties.

* The decision also found that Tusla infringed Article 33(1) of the GDPR
  by failing to notify the DPC of the third breach without undue delay.

Corrective Powers
-----------------

* The DPC imposed an administrative fine of €75,000 on Tusla for its
  infringements of Article 32(1) and Article 33(1).

* The DPC ordered Tusla to bring its processing operations into compliance
  with Article 32(1) of the GDPR by implementing appropriate organisational
  measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk.

* The DPC issued Tusla with reprimands in respect of the infringements of
  Articles 32(1) and 33(1) of the GDPR.