The Bill was first brought before the Seanad in the Spring when Senator Higgins engaged in a robust debate with the Minister of State Patrick O'Donovan. The bill has wide ranging implications for the processes and protections established regarding the sharing of personal data between public bodies.
Senator Higgins raised several concerns about protecting privacy rights and improving transparency and accountability during the course of the debate. In particular, she sought to safeguard the protections which had been introduced in the Data Protection Act to protect sensitive personal information, called "special categories of personal data".
After a lengthy committee stage debate, the Minister committed to addressing several of the concerns raised by Senator Higgins during the report stage of the debate which will commence this week.
Senator Higgins looks forward to making further progress this week and to continuing to champion best practice in data protection standards.