Data protection and an informed society

 

Sir, – On August 22nd you carried an opinion piece (“Removal of electoral data unwarranted”) by Steven Smyrl decrying the removal of access to “historic” electoral registers due to data protection concerns, while on the front page there appeared a piece by Elaine Edwards noting that the Central Statistics Office (CSO) is seeking a change to EU law to allow it to access mobile roaming data (“CSO seeks to use mobile phone roaming data for tourism statistics”).

In support of this, the CSO claims “it is important that when safeguarding a person’s right to privacy, that we do not unnecessarily compromise or diminish a person’s right to live in an informed society”.

Maybe that is a statement the Data Protection Commissioner might like to consider before accepting Mr Smyrl’s arguments in favour of restoring online access to Dublin City Library and Archive’s “historic” electoral register database? – Yours, etc,

TOM BAILLIE,

Rathmines,

Dublin 6.