Private investigator to be tried over data breaches in October

Michael J Gaynor alleged to have illegally accessed personal information held by An Garda Síochána

A private investigator charged in relation to alleged breaches of data protection legislation will be tried in October.

Michael J Gaynor, trading as MJG Investigations, Beatty Grove, Celbridge, Co Kildare, was before Dublin District Court this morning facing a prosecution by the Data Protection Commissioner.

Mr Gaynor faced 72 criminal charges in relation to alleged breaches of data protection legislation, including illegally accessing and disclosing personal information on individuals held by An Garda Síochána and the ESB.

It is the first such criminal prosecution of its kind in the State.

Mr Gaynor faces three charges of illegally accessing personal information held by An Garda Síochána and of disclosing it without authority, under the provisions of section 22 (1) of the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003.

He faces a further nine charges of illegally accessing and disclosing personal information held by the ESB under the same section of the Acts.

Some 60 charges against him relate to illegally processing the personal data of a number of individuals without an entry in the register held by the Data Protection Commissioner for data processors.

The offences are all alleged to have occurred between May and October 2013.

Counsel for Mr Gaynor, Justin McQuade BL, told the court today the issues had been “considerably narrowed” and that a trial would go ahead on three of the charges.

He said one day would be sufficient to hear the case. Judge John O’Neill set the trial date for October 6th.