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The Minister for Social Protection has said she cannot guarantee the protection of data from hackers, but they are taking security "very seriously", writes Amy Ryan Almost 3 million people in the State now have the new Public Service Cards and there are 50 different state bodies who have access to the data stored on the card. The Minister said that the card has been introduced to tackle the issue of fraud.

She said that there are 78 fraud cases currently being investigated by using this system.

Speaking to Sarah McInerney on Newstalk, Regina Doherty explained that the card was introduced as part of the authentification process within the Department.

"All it's doing is ensuring you are who you say you are so that we can make sure we deliver the services to people who require the services," said the Minister.

She said that the card is the end result of a verification process to prove your identity by producing your PPSN, bringing a recent bill, taking your photograph using bio-metric technology and providing your signature.

"It will make your interaction with another public services much easier and faster," she added.

The Department intends to begin the widespread adoption of the public service card infrastructure, including its online counterpart MyGovID as part of the successful delivery of the eGovernment strategy.

It will shortly be required for all passport and driving licence applications as well as a number of other services.

Minister Doherty had been heavily criticised for saying that the card was not "compulsory" but "mandatory".

When asked to clarify this statement, the Minister said: "It's a requirement to access high value public services."

"Maybe some people's definition of compulsory and mandatory were different to what I was trying to explain," she added.

The Minister described the card as a "modern" form of identification.

The card has a chip which stores data about the user and there is bio-metric technology used when the photograph is taken so that the person may be cross-checked across other systems to ensure that the person is not already registered under another identity.

The Minister denied that this facial recognition information was stored after the technology scans your face to cross-check against the system, which she claims the Department was inaccurately "charged with".

"I can catagorically say that that is true because the only thing we hold is your photograph," said Ms Doherty.

Ms Doherty pointed out that people give their permission to store their photograph and data when they get the card.

The Minister said that it would not be "honest" for her to guarantee that hackers could not access the personal data that is stored on individuals.

"We are ensuring that the security for the data is being taken at the most serious level," said Ms Doherty.

"The data is obviously as secure as it can be, using the latest technology that we have available to us. We value and we understand & appreciate the privacy & security of that data, and that's why we take it very, very seriously," said Minister Doherty.

"But to give a guarantee would probably be futile of me, given some of the most secure agencies in America have been hacked," she added.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Amy Ryan

Quelle/Source: Breaking News, 02.09.2017

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