Data Commissioner rules against right to fada after UHG complaint

Galway daily news Data Commission rules no absolute right to fada

Ireland’s data watchdog has ruled that a person doesn’t have an “absolute right” to have their name spelled with a fada.

TV producer Ciarán Ó Cofaigh made a complaint against the HSE when he was being treated for for cancer at UHG after medics didn’t include the fada in his name in records.

Mr Ó Cofaigh said the HSE was breaking EU rules under the GDPR, article 16 of which guarantees people have the right to have inaccurate personal information corrected without delay.

The HSE said that software it uses in multiple locations will not accept the input of a fada for proper Irish name spellings.

According to the Irish Times the Data Protection Commission has ruled that the rights under the GDPR to name corrections are not absolute, and should be judged on a case by case basis.

It advised the HSE to keep Mr Ó Cofaigh on changes to its systems that will allow it to accept the proper spelling in the future, and include a note on his records about the spelling dispute.

Mr Ó Cofaigh said that he was disappointed with the ruling, which he criticised as a very narrow interpretation of EU rules.

He told the Irish Times that it was a “disgrace” that he can’t even use his proper name in his own country.

Under the GDPR companies can be fined up to €20 million or 4 percent of turnover for not abiding by rules governing the accurate recording of personal information.