Public services card and data regulation


Sir, – I noted with interest in your ongoing coverage of the public services card controversy that both Noel Whelan, in a piece which questions the relevance of your own excellent news reporting of the issue (“Public services card row is silly season nonsense”, Opinion & Analysis, September 1st), and a business lobby group (“Suggestion public services card will be used as identity card ‘dishonest’’, says ISME”, August 31st), have taken issue with the data protection commissioner’s involvement.

The data protection commissioner is not a State body that is mean to offer constructive criticism to public and private sectors; the data protection commissioner is the relevant independent regulator tasked with ensuring that all data controllers in the State meet their responsibilities in law.

Perhaps a reminder of what happened a decade ago in this country when an enthusiasm for light-touch regulation took hold is necessary for those who currently appear to have concerns over a regulator regulating. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – A number of your readers have raised, through your letters page, valid points in relation to data retention and the use of a public services card. I would share many of these concerns. A public debate needs to commence, followed then by primary legislation, through the Oireachtas. – Yours, etc,


Leinster House,

Kildare Street,

Dublin 2.