How we use your information

This privacy notice tells you what to expect when the Office of the Information Commissioner collects personal information. It applies to information we collect about:

  • visitors to our websites
  • complainants and other individuals in relation to a data protection or freedom of information complaint or enquiry
  • people who use our services

Visitors to our websites

When someone visits www.oic.ie we collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. We collect this information in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website. We will not associate any data gathered from this site with any personally identifying information from any source. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.

People who email us

The Office of the Information Commissioner is part of the Government Services network. Any email sent to us, including any attachments, may be monitored and used by us for reasons of security and for monitoring compliance with office policy. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send to us is within the bounds of the law.

When we receive a request for review from a person we make up a file containing the details of the request. This normally contains the identity of the person requesting the review and any other individuals involved.

We will only use the personal information we collect to process the review and to check on the level of service we provide. We do compile and publish statistics showing information like the number of reviews we receive, but not in a form which identifies anyone.

We usually have to disclose the reviewer’s identity to whoever the review is about. This is inevitable where, for example, the accuracy of a person’s record is in dispute. If a reviewer doesn’t want information identifying him or her to be disclosed, we will try to respect that. However, it may not be possible to handle a review on an anonymous basis.

We will keep personal information contained in review files in line with our retention policy. This means that information relating to a review will be retained for three years from closure.

Similarly, where enquiries are submitted to us we will only use the information supplied to us to deal with the enquiry and any subsequent issues and to check on the level of service we provide.

When we take enforcement action against someone, we may publish the identity of the defendant in our Annual Report or elsewhere. Usually we do not identify any complainants unless the details have already been made public.

Complaints or queries

The Office of the Information Commissioner tries to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information. For this reason, we take any complaints we receive about this very seriously. We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate.

This privacy notice was drafted with brevity and clarity in mind. It does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of Office of the Information Commissioner’s collection and use of personal information. However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed. Any requests for this should be sent to the address below.

Access to personal information

The Office of the Information Commissioner tries to be as open as it can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information by making a ‘subject access request’ under the Data Protection Act 1998. If we do hold information about you we will:

  • give you a description of it;
  • tell you why we are holding it;
  • tell you who it could be disclosed to; and
  • let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.

To make a request to the Office of the Information Commissioner for any personal information we may hold you need to put the request in writing addressing it to our Data Protection Officer, or writing to the address provided below.

If you agree, we will try to deal with your request informally, for example by providing you with the specific information you need over the telephone.

If we do hold information about you, you can ask us to correct any mistakes by, once again, contacting the Data Protection Officer:

Damien Cahill
Data Protection Officer
Office of the Information Commissioner
18 Lower Leeson Street
Dublin 2
D02 HE97
Telephone: +353-1-639 5729
Fax: (01) 6395676
Email: info@oic.ie

Disclosure of personal information

In many circumstances we will not disclose personal data without consent. However when we investigate a complaint, for example, we will need to share personal information with the organisation concerned and with other relevant bodies.

Links to other websites

This privacy notice does not cover the links within this site linking to other websites. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.

Changes to this privacy notice

We keep our privacy notice under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated in July.

How to contact us

If you want to request information about our privacy policy you can email us or write to:

Office of the Information Commissioner
18 Lower Leeson Street
Dublin 2
D02 HE97

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More information: You can find the Google Analytics Privacy Policy here:
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These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form that does not identify a visitor. They provide information regarding the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited. We use this information to compile reports and to help us improve the way our website works, for example by making sure users are finding what they need easily.