herald

Saturday 21 September 2019

The bins are back in town - GPO trashes GDPR concerns

Bins are back at the GPO
Bins are back at the GPO

All public bins have been returned to the GPO after An Post was reassured that any litter collected in the premises would not be subjected to GDPR laws.

Over the past number of months, customers and visitors to the historic building were unable to dispose of their litter within the building.

An Post said under the new privacy laws, even rubbish containing personal details was considered their responsibility.

For this reason, a decision was taken to remove every bin from the post office's main hall on a trial basis.

However, just one day after the Office of the Data Protection told the Herald that "under no circumstances" could public litter be in breach of GDPR, An Post has decided to reinstate the bins.

"An Post have confirmed a number of outstanding issues around the handling of waste material from public litter bins in the GPO," a spokesperson said.

"The bins had been removed from the public office of the GPO on a trial basis and have now been reinstated," he said.

Dismay

The Herald understands that the decision to remove the bins was taken after an internal audit identified them as a potential risk of breaching data protection laws.

A pensioner raised the issue on Liveline to express her dismay over the new regulation.

"I was in the GPO last Saturday to send on a card and when I went to throw the cellophane away, I noticed that there was no bin under the counter," she said. "So, I went to the next counter and to the big centre piece, but there were no bins anywhere.

"I asked an [employee] who was going around with a big bag of rubbish what happened, and she said, 'We've removed them all because of the GDPR law'.

The caller added that if she wanted to dispose of confidential information, she would rather leave it in a bin than have it lying on top of a counter.

A spokesperson for An Post said: "All public bins were removed from the GPO. Items of a confidential nature like receipts and mail items are often deposited in the bins by customers and visitors in the post office's main hall."

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