Data watchdog did inspect files at Greyhound HQ
THE data protection commissioner carried out an inspection of the offices of Greyhound Recycling amid fears the company received bank details of thousands of bin customers.
The Herald can reveal that a representative was deployed to offices of the private company last week to inspect whether personal data, including banking details, had been transferred by Dublin City Council.
And despite Greyhound sending out a strongly worded statement which "dismissed reports" that it was to be investigated, the company has admitted that officers called to their headquarters on Thursday afternoon.
A spokesperson told the Herald: "Greyhound Recycling and Recovery has not been given any personal bank detail information from Dublin City Council relating to customers owing unpaid bin charges to the council.
"A representative from the Office of the Data Protection Commission visited Greyhound on Thursday, January 26, 2012 to satisfy himself that this was the case. This representative was informed that Greyhound Recycling and Recovery had not received the information concerned and was facilitated in inspecting our systems to assure himself of the facts."
Meanwhile, correspondence sent by assistant city manager Seamus Lyons reveals that the council was preparing to transfer customer information beyond that of "names, addresses and size of bins". The correspondence, seen by the Herald, also reveal that the commissioner's initial inquiries in the sale of the bin service began over a week ago.
Mr Lyons, the €120,000 civil servant who led the sale, said: "Unfounded allegations were made that we had passed personal and bank detail information related to arrears due from customers to Greyhound.
"The commissioner again became involved and formally launched an investigation into this.
"We have again reassured him that no such information has yet been passed to Greyhound but we indicated the additional information which would in due course be passed to enable Greyhound to collect the charges and arrears on our behalf."
Eirigi councillor Louise Minihan said the visits by the data protection commissioner were "extremely worrying". "The fact that the commissioner felt necessary to contact the city council on a number of occasions and even inspect systems of Greyhound raises huge questions about the safety of private and personal banking information.
"I am calling for an full independent inquiry into this fiasco. It is washed with secrecy and the people of Dublin deserve better."