DPC Ruling: No right to a Fada…May 2019
A man being treated for cancer, complained to the Data Protection
Commission that the HSE were failing to record his name correctly as they
refused to include the fadas in his name on his medical records.
After taking 8 months to investigate the complaint, the DPC has
ruled that there is no ‘absolute right’ to have your name spelled correctly –
in this case by including fadas. They emphasised that each case needs to be
looked at individually and depends on the circumstances. The ruling throws up
the limitation of proportionality with respect to the rights to data accuracy
and rectification. The deciding factor here appears to be that the system used
in the particular hospital was not capable of including a fada.
The complainant in this case, Ciarán Ó Cofaigh, was certainly not
happy with the result. He stated that "You often hear of the right to
defend your good name - I don't even have a right to a name." It’s a fair
point, particularly given the fact that data accuracy is enshrined in the
principles of GDPR. It begs the question that if an Irish name is supposed to
have a fada in it for pronunciation and linguistic purposes, can it ever be
said to be accurate without it? From a
data protection perspective, it appears to be.
Our Researcher Killian Flood B.L. has delved into this a bit further and you can read his article here.