Data Protection Commissioner
Data Protection Commissioner

The Office of the Data Protection is responsible for protecting your fundamental right to data privacy. This includes dealing with complaints which we aim to do in as effective and efficient a manner as possible. In order for us to process complaints we require specific details, information and supporting documentation on the data protection matter you wish to raise with us. We have set out the information required below. We have highlighted, in particular, complaints about access rights and direct marketing as these form the highest proportion of complaints received by the Office. Including this material at the beginning of the complaints process will greatly assist us in dealing with your complaint. We would strongly advise that you raise any data protection issues you may have with the data controller (the organisation you are complaining about) in the first instance as this very often results in a speedier resolution than a formal complaints process. If you fail to receive a response or are unhappy with the response you receive, please contact us at that stage and provide us with the correspondence exchanged with the data controller.

 

We are working to improve our online services to make it easier for individuals to contact us and engage with our Office. A new website is being developed and this will include a new and enhanced online complaint form. As part of this redevelopment work the existing online complaint facility has been removed pending the completion of our new website. In the meantime complaints can be submitted to info@dataprotection.ie following the guidelines below.

 

Access Requests

There are three types of access request complaints:

  • no response to an access request
  • incomplete response to an access request
  • exemptions to withhold data being applied incorrectly

 

No response to an access request

If you would like to make a complaint about a data controller failing to respond to your access request we require the following:

  • copy of the access request

  • signed authority from you where a solicitor/representative has made the contact

  • reminder letter sent to the data controller

  • any other relevant correspondence on the matter, for example, if the data controller has sought proof of your identity, evidence that you have provided same

 

Incomplete response to an access request

If you believe a data controller has not responded in full to your access request we require the following:

  • copy of the access request

  • signed authority from you where a solicitor/representative has made the contact

  • copy of letter sent to the data controller outlining the specific personal data that has not been provided

  • any evidence you have of the existence of the personal data concerned

  • any other relevant correspondence on the matter

 

Exemptions being used to withhold data that may be applied incorrectly

If you believe that an organisation is withholding data by applying exemptions in an incorrect manner we require the following:

  • copy of the access request

  • signed authority from you where a solicitor/representative has made the contact

  • copy letter sent to data controller seeking an explanation for the use of the exemptions together with any reply received from the data controller

  • your views in writing as to why the exemptions being relied on by the data controller are not validly applied

  • any other relevant correspondence

 

 

Direct Marketing

If your complaint is about the receipt of unsolicited direct marketing contact without consent we require the following:

  • the email address/phone number/fax number to which the marketing material was sent
  • confirmation of who your phone service provider is
  • details of where the marketing issued from (the name of the data controller as well as the email address/phone number it issued from)
  • copy of the marketing material received:
    • for phone call provide date and time of call together with details of the product which the caller attempted to market to you;
    • for email provide a copy of the full email received including header and footer information;
    • for text message a screenshot of the message or alternatively write out the full text and include date and time sent
  • details of any attempts made by you to opt-out of receiving marketing material or calls from the data controller

 

 

All other complaints

For all other complaint we require the following:

  • details of the specific data protection issue you are raising
  • signed authority from you where a solicitor/representative has made the contact
  • documentary evidence to support the allegation being made
  • copy of relevant correspondence exchanged with the data controller on the matter