There has been a pretty significant exchange of correspondence with the Data Protection Commissioner over the Primary Online Database since my last post. The result is that I am copying all of the documentation to date and will be forwarding it to the European Commission as part of a complaint regarding Ireland's failures to ensure that Article 8.
The benighted story of the Department of Education's perennially unraveling Primary Online Database of 5+year olds has been bouncing along for over a year now. If you were to scroll through a year's worth of this blog's posts you'd have a pretty good picture of what happened when, but you might also expire with tedium. It'd be a race to see which would happen first.
As longstanding, longsuffering readers will be aware, for the past year and a bit, I have been arguing that the Primary Online Database (POD) was illegal. Though that argument has not come to a conclusion (and I expect it to be successful) the Department of Education has been forced into a series of climbdowns along the way.
The documents below were withheld by the Department of Education following an FOI request. The Department produced an array of reasons for their refusal to release the below docs, which the Office of the Information Commissioner ultimately decided were invalid.
The Information Commissioner’s office has now published their binding decision in my appeal against the Department of Educations and Skill’s refusal to release certain documents relating to POD to me on foot of an FOI request. With the exception of one document (of which more shortly) all of the Department of Education’s refusals have been overturned.
Ever since the introduction of the Primary Online Database of schoolchildren by the Department of Education, the Department and its Minister have been eager to point out that any parent who refused to allow a child’s data to be transferred would see that child’s education defunded. Well, for all children other than this week’s crop of new Junior Infants, that threat has now collapsed.
Department of Education refuses FOI regarding database of children because it would reveal their position
Rather missing the point of an FOI Act, the Department of Education has refused to release documents relating to the Primary Online Database- which the Data Protection Commissioner’s Office has confirmed is operating without proper legal basis.