Irish child protection agency 'accidentally' revealed victim's location to their alleged abuser

Irish child protection agency 'accidentally' revealed victim's location to their alleged abuser

IRELAND'S child and family protection agency, Tusla, accidentally disclosed the location of a mother and her child to their alleged abuser as part of a series of information breaches.

There were reportedly as many as 75 breaches at the agency between 2018 and late 2019 which saw private and personal information released into the wrong hands, according to the Data Protection Commission (DPC).

Another breach saw Tusla accidentally disclosed contact, location and school details of foster parents and children to a grandparent. As a result, that grandparent made contact with the foster parent about the children.

They also accidentally disclosed the address of children in foster care to their imprisoned father, who used it to contact his children.

As a result of the mistakes, three inquiries have been carried out by the DPC into the agency.

They also conducted site inspections at Tusla headquarters and at regional offices in Dublin Central, Naas, Swords, Waterford, Galway and Cork.

When asked for comment about the breaches at Tusla, a spokesperson told the organisation is "acutely aware of its responsibilities in relation to the very sensitive data we work with on a daily basis".

"We continue to work proactively with the office of the Data Protection Commissioner to continuously improve our systems and practices to reflect data protection legislation, and the data protection rights of the children and families we work with.

"Behind what is in today’s report are very detailed investigation reports which we are significantly engaged with the Commissioner on and in fact we are due to give further detailed responses to the Commissioner next week.

"We will await the final findings of these investigations before commenting on the specific details. However, we want to assure the public that we are not waiting for the investigation reports to formally conclude before making improvements," they said.