Data Privacy on Black-Golden Watch Face with Closeup View of Watch Mechanism.-1

No right to fada under GDPR, says DPC

Following an eight-month investigation, the Data Protection Commission (DPC) have ruled that individuals do not have an 'absolute right' to have their names spelled with fadas. 

Mr Ciarán Ó Cofaigh, who initiated the complaint, sought to rely on Article 16 of the General Data Protection Regulation which provides that individuals have a right to have inaccurate personal data rectified by data controllers without delay. This is known as the 'right to rectification'.

The data controller in this instance, the Health Service Executive, submitted that their current software did not allow them to input fadas or accents over letters, and overhauling the organisation's entire system would be disproportionately costly. 

While - as we have written about ad nauseum - the GDPR allows for fines of up to €20m EUR for breaches by commercial bodies, fines are capped at €1m in cases involving public bodies. 

Mr Ó Cofaig previously told the Irish Times: 'My name without a fada isn't my name'. For their part, the HSE have stated that any future technology will be equipped with the ability to input fadas.

For further reading on GDPR enforcement, please see the recent Intellectual Property and IT Law Update, which may be accessed here.

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