Monday 28 May 2012

GSI seeks Irish privacy law clause

I've just been reading the latest Genealogical Society of Ireland ( newsletter for May, which has an interesting story on a forthcoming privacy bill in the Republic of Ireland. It's a bit complicated, but it seems to suggest that if the Privacy Bill 2012 is passed in its current form, there will be a possible threat to genealogists in the country wishing to use information currently made available from public registers, the very data required for family history research.

An exemption made in the Defamation Bill of 2009 on the use of such information is not present as things stand in Section 4 (3) (a) of the Privacy Bill, which the GSI is now lobbying to change. Without such a change, it seems that a person can complain that their privacy has been breached even if material about them was gathered from a public register. The issue was first raised in 2006, but there appears to have been little progress made in addressing it as yet by the Irish government.

Not sure what progress has been made since publication, but the full story is at Hopefully the GSI will be successful in its aims.

Incidentally, last year Linda Reid of the Toronto branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society kindly made a guest post on the former Scottish GENES blog looking at privacy issues in Canada - the post is at Not everyone in the world has the same access rights that we take for granted here in the UK.


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