The Irish government closed part of its genealogy website on Friday, after the country’s data protection commissioner warned that potentially sensitive personal details were available to all.
Irish Genealogy, a website at http://www.irishgenealogy.ie/en created by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, offered people born or married in Ireland the ability to search for civil records such as birth certificates as part of their research into their heritage.
The online records contained data such as dates of birth and mothers’ maiden names, information which is frequently used as security questions for accounts such as online banking. That information is not legally defined as “sensitive” under Irish data protection law, but the commission stepped in to prevent the data anyway.
You can read the details in an article by Alex Hern in the Guardian web site at http://goo.gl/O8XBIM.