By Anthony Sheridan
Two years ago I qualified for the Free Travel Pass but was denied the entitlement because I refused to accept the legitimacy of the Public Services Card. The Data Protection Commissioner [DPC] has now ruled on the issue:
The Department does not have a legal basis for processing personal data when it’s in the case of a person who’s seeking to avail of a service with the public sector body other than the department itself.
But…there’s always a ‘but’, the DPC has also ruled that:
The legislation only allows the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to insist on its use for its own services.
They [the ID cards] can continue to be used in the context of availing of free travel or availing of benefits that a person is claiming from the department.
So, not withstanding further clarifications, my current understanding is:
All citizens outside the remit of the Department of Social Welfare now have the option of using the card as identification if they so choose.
Those citizens within the remit of the Department of Social Welfare are not granted the right of choice, they must accept this illegal and very dangerous card if they want to receive their entitlements.
I will not be accepting this card until I am granted the same rights as all other citizens.