Irish company convicted of ‘blagging’ personal information to help banks’ private investigations

A Galway company has been convicted of ‘blagging’ personal information from the Department of Social Protection to help banks pursue private investigations.

Glen Collection Investments and its director, Michael Ryan, pleaded guilty to offences under the Data Protection Acts for unauthorised access to personal data held by the Department of Social Protection. That information was then given to solicitor firms in Dublin representing AIB and Bank Of Ireland.
Both the company and Michael Ryan have been fined, with Mr Ryan fined €5,000.

The investigation that led to the prosecution was conducted by the Irish DPC.
The DPC is also looking into reports that the internet company Yahoo helped US authorities spy on email accounts.

“Any form of mass surveillance infringing on the fundamental privacy rights of EU citizens would be viewed as a matter of considerable concern by this Office,” said a spokeswoman for the office.

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