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Data Protection Commission

Data breach incident affecting GAA members
10 December 2010

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner wishes to confirm that it is investigating a data breach incident involving personal data of GAA members.  The Office has received full co-operation from the GAA in the course of our investigation.  As the incident has a cross-border element we are liaising closely with our colleagues in the Information Commissioner's Office in Belfast as well as the PSNI.

We welcome the fact that the GAA has informed all clubs of the incident and has put in place a dedicated information line available at 1890 987807 (from the Republic) and 0800 011 4787 (from Northern Ireland) for any GAA members with concerns or who wish to establish whether their data is affected.  In the vast majority of cases the affected data is limited to name, address, date of birth, email address (where applicable) and contact phone number.   In approximately six hundred cases the affected data includes information on health conditions.  The GAA is writing directly to any person whose health data was affected.

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner wishes to assure those affected that there is no evidence as yet that the data in question will be used for an illegal purpose or could be used to perpetrate identity theft on its own.  However, affected GAA members should be cautious in relation to any unsolicited contacts they receive through the post, over the phone or particularly via email that refer to their GAA membership and that seek to elicit further personal information.

Our colleagues in the Information Commissioner's Office have also issued a statement on this issue which is available at http://www.ico.gov.uk/news/press_releases.aspx

For more information, please contact:

Diarmuid Hallinan, Office of the Data Protection Commissioner at 057 868 4800 or by email to media@dataprotection.ie

Kirsty McCaskill and Greg Jones, Information Commissioner's Office, 0044 303 123 9070

Lisa Clancy, GAA, 087 2314260 / 01 865 8614