Privacy Statement and Cookies
This website is maintained by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection fully respects your right to privacy. Any personal data which you volunteer will be treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality, strictly in accordance with the Data Protection Acts, 1988-2003, the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 (as amended) and applicable EU directives.
Any personal data you provide will be used for the purpose for which you supply it, will be held securely and will only be shared, if necessary, with other Government Departments/Agencies, the Department’s servants and agents in accordance with law.
This statement relates to our privacy practices in connection with this website. Some technical terms used in this statement are explained at the end of this page.
Data Protection Acts
The Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 are designed to protect people’s privacy. They give effect to the Council of Europe Data Protection Convention. The Acts confer rights on individuals in relation to the privacy of their personal data as well as responsibilities on those persons holding and processing such data.
Information on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the latest Data Protection Acts is available at www.welfare.ie/dataprotection.
What is "personal data"?
Personal data means data relating to a person who is or can be identified either from the data itself or in conjunction with other information that is in, or is likely to come into, the possession of the Department. It covers any information that relates to an identifiable, living individual. This data can be held on computers or in manual files.
A "data controller" means a person who, either alone or with others, controls the contents and use of personal data.
The Data Controller for the Department is the Secretary General. The area nominated to carry out the functions of the Data Controller in the Department is the
Business Information Security Unit (BISU)
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Phone Numbers: 016732773, 016732774, 016732744
The Department's obligations
The Department’s obligations under the Data Protection Acts are that:
- data must be obtained and processed fairly
- data must be accurate, complete and where necessary, kept up to date
- data must have been obtained only for one or more specified, explicit and legitimate purpose
- data must not be further processed in a manner incompatible with that purpose
- data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which they were collected or are further processed
- data must not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose
- appropriate security measures must be taken against unauthorised access to, or unauthorised alteration, disclosure or destruction of the data, in particular where the processing involves the transmission of data over a network, and against all other unlawful forms of processing. The Department employs the most appropriate physical and technical measures, including staff training and awareness and these are reviewed regularly.
- all personal data held by the Department must be registered with the Data Protection Commissioner.
- we owe a duty of care to the data subjects concerned, i.e. we must take care not to cause any of our customers damage or distress by, for example, maintaining inaccurate information on our files, or disclosing personal data to someone who is not entitled to this data.
The Department takes its obligations very seriously and adopts the strongest line in relation to the misuse of customer information by any of its staff. Any breach of trust with regard to the confidentiality of information is treated as serious misconduct under the Disciplinary Code and can lead to sanctions up to and including dismissal.
Collection and use of personal information
This website does not collect any personal data, apart from information that you volunteer (for example, when filling a form) and your IP address. Any information you provide in this way is used only for the purpose for which you provide it. Currently these purposes can include
- Secure log in to MyWelfare
- Making a Public Service Card Appointment
- Making a PPS Number Appointment
- Completing and submitting Jobseeker’s Application
- Using the information you provide along with your Jobseeker’s application to assist us in assisting you to get back into employment. We call this process Activation.
Any personal data will only be shared, if necessary, with other Government Departments/Agencies, the Department’s servants and agents in accordance with law. For information on bodies that the Department shares information with please consult Appendix 2 of the document Request for Bulk Data from Third Parties – Summary of Guidelines on the Department’s website www.welfare.ie
Right of Access
Under section 4 of the Acts a person has a right to be given a copy of his/her personal data. This subject access request (SAR) must be in writing through the postal service. You can make a subject access request by writing to Data Access Section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Shannon Lodge, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. Your request should be as specific as possible, to enable us to identify where the particular data is held and also include evidence of your own identity such as a photocopy of your passport or photocopy of your driving license. A response to your access request will issue to you as soon as is possible and in any event within thirty days.
Sections 4 & 5 of the Data Protection Acts set out a small number of circumstances in which your right to see your personal records can be limited. This is necessary in order to strike a balance between the rights of the individual, on the one hand, and some important needs of civil society, on the other hand. For example, the right of access to medical data is restricted in some very limited circumstances, where the health and mental well-being of the individual might be affected by obtaining access to the data. Your right to obtain access to examination results and to see information relating to other people is also curtailed.
Freedom of Information (FOI)
Another way you may obtain personal information is under the Freedom of Information Acts.
Under the Freedom of Information Acts every person has a right, subject to certain restrictions, to access information held by Government Departments, agencies and other designated bodies in receipt of State funding. The Acts also allow for persons to seek access to their own data held by such bodies. There is no fee for this service. You can make a Freedom of Information request by writing to Freedom of Information Section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Shannon Lodge, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. Your request should be as specific as possible to enable us to identify where the particular data is held.
Right of rectification
Under section 6 of the Data Protection Acts, a person has a right to have his/her personal data corrected, if inaccurate, or erased, if there is not a legitimate reason for retaining the data. The Department makes every effort to ensure that your personal data is accurate and only retained for as long as it is required. If you have reason to believe that your personal data held by the Department is not accurate or should no longer be retained you can write to the Department on the issue setting out clearly what personal data is at issue and the reasons why you consider it to be inaccurate and/or why the Department should no longer retain it. There is no fee for this service. Write to Client Identity Services, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Shannon Lodge, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim.
Concerns over Data Protection
If you are concerned that an official has accessed your personal information illegally and or that your personal data may have been disclosed to a 3rd party illegally you can make a formal written complaint to:-
Business Information Security Unit
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
The matter will be investigated by the Department and you will be notified regarding the outcome of the investigation as soon as possible.
Where can I get more information about my rights under the Data Protection Acts
The Data Protection Commissioner's Website offers an explanation of the rights and responsibilities under the Data Protection Acts (http://www.dataprotection.ie) and information is also available from
The Data Protection Commissioner's Office
You can contact the Data Protection Commissioner's Office by email email@example.com or by phone 1890 252231.
Information we routinely collect
We may collect the following information from each user of this site:
- Statistical information (IP address and hostname, web browser version, pages visited etc.).
- The previous website address from which you reached us, including any search terms used.
- Registration details shared with MyGovID (email address, name and mobile number)
- Your language preference (English/Irish)
- Other information submitted in forms, for example if you submit your personal details when requesting or submitting an online form.
- The date and time you access our site.
Cookies are small pieces of information, stored in simple text files, placed on your computer by a website. Some cookies can be read by the website on your subsequent visits. The information stored in a cookie may relate to your browsing habits on the webpage, or a unique identification number so that the website can 'remember' you on your return visit. Other cookies are deleted when you close your browser and only relate to the working of the website. Generally speaking, cookies do not contain personal information from which you can be identified, unless you have furnished such information to the website.
Cookies may be set in a number of places on this website:
- When you first visit this website, you will see a message informing you about the privacy statement. If you click the 'Hide this message' button, a Cookie will be set which records this action.
- Temporary authorisation Cookies are created when you login to MyWelfare.ie through MyGovID. They will be removed when the session has ended.
- A Cookie is created if you view the site in Contrast view.
- Cookies are created to capture information for use with website analytics. They help to provide MyWelfare.ie administrators with accurate statistics to provide a better service.
- A temporary Cookie is created to prevent against malicious attacks (CSRF). It will be removed when the session has ended.
A temporary cookie is created each time you complete an online service request to improve your MyWelfare experience.
Most browsers allow you to turn off Cookies or to customise your settings for cookies. To find out how to do this, see the 'Help' menu on your browser. Please note that if you turn off cookies or change your settings, some features on MyWelfare.ie may not work correctly.
If you are concerned about how personal data is processed via this website, please contact us by completing the "Ask a Question" form in the Online Services and Forms area of Welfare.ie.
This website may contain links to other non Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection sites. The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is not responsible for these sites or for the privacy statements of other websites.
Notification of Change
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection reserves the right to amend this statement at any future date and will post any substantive changes here.
Glossary of technical terms used
A web browser is the piece of software you use to read web pages. Examples are Microsoft Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Opera.
Your IP address identifies your computer (or your internet service provider’s computer) in internet protocol code (for example 123.456.78.90). Every computer connected to the web has a unique IP address, although the address may not be the same every time a connection is made.