Housing issue sparks data protection spat
A ROW over data protection in relation to housing applications was sparked at Monday’s meeting of Kerry County Council when Cllr Mike Kennelly said he knew of a woman contacted by a TD claiming to have acted on her behalf in getting a house, which Cllr Kennelly said called into question issues surrounding data protection.
“It’s a disgrace that there are different times when councillors are told about housing allocations. This woman said she received the call from the deputy within hours of receiving a home. How was this? And how did the deputy get the woman’s contact details?” Cllr Kennelly asked.
Council management said there are very strict guidelines in place regarding housing and data protection of applicants, adding the allocation of housing is an executive function and all elected members are notified at the same time.
“If a member of the public has concerns, they should contact the Information Commission. People should use the channels open to them and make a formal complaint. The data we have is private to the individual and stays within their housing said management.
However, Cllr Toiréasa Ferris said she did not believe this, claiming there is a clear data breach. “People are afraid to make complaints in case it comes back to bite them. Something needs to be done about this. There seems to be a consistency in who is getting the information and this should be a worry to management,” said Cllr Ferris.
In response, management said the information requested to substantiate Cllr Ferris’ assertion had not been given to the council, to which Ms Ferris replied the individual did not want to give details for the very reasons she outlined.
Cllr Michael Cahill added he knew of cases where foreign nationals’ mobile numbers had been sourced in relation to housing allocations
Meanwhile, responding to a motion by Cllr Jimmy Moloney asking that elected members of Kerry County Council be informed whenever a purchase of a new house is complete, management said the approach to data protection in respect of housing applicant information was currently under review. file”