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This website is maintained by the Department of Social Protection. The Department of Social Protection fully respects your right to privacy, and will not collect any personal data about you on this website without your clear permission. Any personal data which you volunteer will be treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality, strictly in accordance with the Data Protection Acts, 1988-2003, the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 (as amended) and applicable EU directives. For information on who to contact for data protection queries and data protection access requests please see here.
Any personal data you provide will be used for the purpose for which you supply it, will be held securely and will only be shared, if necessary, with other Government Departments/Agencies, the
Department's servants and agents in accordance with law.
This statement relates to our privacy practices in connection with this website. Some technical terms used in this statement are explained at the end of this page.
Data Protection Acts
The Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 are designed to protect people's privacy. They give effect to the Council of Europe Data Protection Convention. The Acts confer rights on individuals in relation to the privacy of their personal data as well as responsibilities on those persons holding and processing such data.
What is "personal data"?
Personal data means data relating to a person who is or can be identified either from the data itself or in conjunction with other information that is in, or is likely to come into, the possession of the Department. It covers any information that relates to an identifiable, living individual. This data can be held on computers or in manual files.
A "data controller" means a person who, either alone or with others, controls the contents and use of personal data.
The Data Controller for the Department is the Secretary General. The area nominated to carry out the functions of the Data Controller in the Department is the
Business Information Security Unit (BISU)
Department of Social Protection
Phone Numbers: 016732773, 016732774, 016732744
The Department's obligations
The Department's obligations under the Data Protection Acts are that:
- data must be obtained and processed fairly;
- data must be accurate, complete and where necessary, kept up to date;
- data must have been obtained only for one or more specified, explicit and legitimate purpose;
- data must not be further processed in a manner incompatible with that purpose;
- data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which they were collected or are further processed;
- data must not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose;
- appropriate security measures must be taken against unauthorised access to, or unauthorised alteration, disclosure or destruction of the data, in particular where the processing involves the transmission of data over a network, and against all other unlawful forms of processing (The Department employs the most appropriate physical and technical measures, including staff training and awareness and these are reviewed regularly.);
- all personal data held by the Department must be registered with the Data Protection Commissioner;
- we owe a duty of care to the data subjects concerned, i.e. we must take care not to cause any of our customers damage or distress by, for example, maintaining inaccurate information on our files, or disclosing personal data to someone who is not entitled to this data.
The Department takes its obligations very seriously and adopts the strongest line in relation to the misuse of customer information by any of its staff. Any breach of trust with regard to the confidentiality of information is treated as serious misconduct under the Disciplinary Code and can lead to sanctions up to and including dismissal.
Any personal data will only be shared, if necessary, with other Government Departments/Agencies, the Department's servants and agents in accordance with law. For information on bodies that the Department shares information with please consult Appendix 2 of the document Request for Bulk Data from Third Parties – Summary of Guidelines here
Collection and use of personal information
This website does not collect any personal data, apart from information that you volunteer (for example, when filling a form) and your IP address. Any information you provide in this way is used only for the purpose for which you provide it.
Information we routinely collect
We may collect the following information from each user of this site:
- Statistical information (IP address and hostname, web browser version, pages visited etc.);
- The previous website address from which you reached us, including any search terms used;
- Other information submitted in forms, for example if you submit your personal details when requesting or submitting an online form;
- The date and time you access our site.
What we use the information for
Any personal information you provide will be used only for the purpose supplied. We will neither make attempts to identify individual visitors, nor associate the technical details listed above with any individual. It is our policy never to disclose such technical information in respect of individual website visitors to any third party unless obliged to disclose such information by a rule of law. The technical information will be used only for statistical and other administrative purposes.
You should note that technical details, which we cannot associate with any identifiable individual, do not constitute 'personal data' for the purposes of the Data Protection Acts, 1988 – 2003.
Cookies are small pieces of information, stored in simple text files, placed on your computer by a website. Some cookies can be read by the website on your subsequent visits. The information stored in a cookie may relate to your browsing habits on the webpage, or a unique identification number so that the website can 'remember' you on your return visit. Other cookies are deleted when you close your browser and only relate to the working of the website. Generally speaking, cookies do not contain personal information from which you can be identified, unless you have furnished such information to the website.
Cookies may be set in a number of places on this website:
- When you first visit this website, you will see a message informing you about the privacy statement. If you click the 'Hide this message' button, a Cookie will be set which records this action.
Most browsers allow you to turn off Cookies or to customise your settings for cookies. To find out how to do this, see the 'Help' menu on your browser. Please note that if you turn off cookies or change your settings, some features of this site may not work correctly.
If you are concerned about how personal data is processed via this website, please contact us at by completing the "Ask a Question" form in the Online Services and Forms area of Welfare.ie.
This website may contain links to other non-Department of Social Protection sites. The Department of Social Protection is not responsible for these sites or for the privacy statements of other websites.
Notification of Change
The Department of Social Protection reserves the right to amend this statement at any future date and will post any substantive changes here.
Glossary of technical terms used
A web browser is the piece of software you use to read web pages. Examples are Microsoft Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Opera.
Your IP address identifies your computer (or your internet service provider's computer) in internet protocol code (for example 123.456.78.90). Every computer connected to the web has a unique IP address, although the address may not be the same every time a connection is made.