Confidential data sent out by Grant Thornton to be returned

Woman was mistakenly sent confidential data about people unconnected with her by accountancy firm Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton said it brought injunction proceedings because she repeatedly refused to confirm she would return the information, delete or destroy any copies held by her and not provide it to anyone else.

Grant Thornton said it brought injunction proceedings because she repeatedly refused to confirm she would return the information, delete or destroy any copies held by her and not provide it to anyone else.

 

A woman who was mistakenly sent confidential data about people unconnected with her by accountancy firm Grant Thornton has agreed before the High Court to hand over to the firm two USB computer sticks and a CD containing the information.

Gerardine Scanlan’s contact with Grant Thornton arose over the appointment of one of its partners as receiver over some of her assets in 2013. It claims she told it the data mistakenly sent to her last September includes deeds of appointment of receivers on properties of other borrowers not connected to her.

Ms Scanlan, Bruhenny, Churchtown, Mallow, Co Cork, had made clear she had been “interrogating” the information, the firm claimed. 

Grant Thornton said it brought injunction proceedings because she repeatedly refused to confirm she would return the information, delete or destroy any copies held by her and not provide it to anyone else.

Last week, it obtained interim orders ex parte (one side only represented) including restraining her disseminating the material. 

In court earlier this week, Ms Scanlan denied disseminating the material. Asked would she hand it back, she said her private information was on the disc.

When the matter returned to court on Friday, Maurice Collins SC, for Grant Thornton, said, following discussions, it had been agreed orders could be made on consent whereby a CD and two USB key sticks in her possession would be returned.

Ms Scanlan had confirmed some information, though she was not sure what, had been provided to an auctioneer in Athlone as well as some material to another man, counsel said.

As part of orders she was now consenting to, she agreed not to disseminate information to any other third parties pending determination of the full proceedings against her. She had also agreed not to process any data other than that relevant to herself.

She had said she had mislaid a number of other USB keys and was agreeing to hand over the lost keys if they turn up.

The order also directs her to remove any material in the public domain, including on social media, and to delete any residual material that might be attached to her email account.  She is also to take steps to retrieve the material given to the Athlone auctioneer.

Counsel said Grant Thornton was seeking costs against her as it believed the proceedings ought never to have been necessary but it would not enforce a costs order if she complied with the agreed orders.

Ms Scanlan, representing herself, read from a brief replying affidavit she had sworn to the Grant Thornton proceedings but Mr Justice Gilligan told her events had overtaken the content of her statement.

Asked by the judge was she agreeable to the orders and to hand over the material, she said she was.

The judge told her the costs order only applies to the injunction proceedings.  If she chose to go any further with the case, it would not cover further hearings, he added.