Privacy and cookies


Privacy Notice

  1. Introduction

We at the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (“GSOC”, “we”, “our”, “us”) respect your right to privacy. We will comply with our obligations under the EU Regulation 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation or “GDPR”) and the Data Protection Act, 2018 and all applicable data protection law.

The purpose of this Privacy Notice is to outline how we deal with any personal information (“data”) that you provide to us while visiting this website. We are a Data Controller for personal information provided by you on our website. If you have any queries in relation our use of your data you may contact our Data Protection Officer at dataprotection@gsoc.ie.

By visiting this website, you acknowledge that you have reviewed this Notice.

Any external links to other websites are clearly identifiable. You should read their Privacy Notice prior to using any other website as GSOC does not take responsibility for how these websites might operate.

  1. Data we collect
  • Information about your use of our website (including how and when you contact us, details of your visits to our website and which site you came from to ours);
  • Any emails sent to us by you and any messages received through our online Get in Touch form are recorded and forwarded to the relevant section. Your name, email address, phone number and comments will remain visible to all staff tasked with dealing with the query;
  • Any emails sent to us by you and any messages received through our online Complaint form are recorded and forwarded to the relevant section. Your name, date of birth, address, email address, phone number and details of the complaint you are making will remain visible to all staff tasked with dealing with the query;
  • We only request data which we will need to investigate the complaint. We collect this information via our Complaint form, written correspondence, or telephone.
  • We record calls made to Casework or Reception on the 1890 600 800 line only. Recordings are held for 6 months only and then they are automatically overwritten. We may also keep written notes of calls. All callers are told via a recorded message before speaking to a staff member that calls are recorded for verification purposes.
  • In the course of processing a complaint, we share all relevant data with the parties to the complaint. When we collect personal data, including special category data, (e.g. data which includes details about your health, race or ethnicity etc.) we will take appropriate measures to ensure that it is safely processed.
  • We routinely gather and publish complaint case studies. We also publish all legally binding decisions made on complaints. We take great care to ensure that all information in these publications is anonymised so that individuals are not identifiable.
  • A CCTV system is operated on GSOC premises which captures the images of customers, staff and members of the public;
  • Our website www.gardaombudsman.ie uses cookies. The purpose of the cookies is solely to assist GSOC in redesigning our website to ensure we provide relevant information in an easily accessible format. Please see below for further details on cookies.
  1. Using your data

We may use your personal information for the purposes of:

  • Administering our website;
  • Enabling your access to and use of the website services;
  • Investigating complaints in relation to incidents where death or serious harm has occurred following Garda contact and other matters in the public interest;
  • The CCTV system is operated to ensure the safety and security of our staff, customers, buildings, property, information located or stored on the premises, and assets. We ensure that relevant signage is in place everywhere CCTV is in operation.
  1. Legal ground for processing

We collect and use your data on one or more of the following grounds:

  • You have given us your consent to use it;
  • It is necessary and proportionate for the performance of our functions under Section 67 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 (the” GSA”)
  1. Disclosing your information

We will not disclose your data to third parties except:

  • to the extent that we are required to do so by law, and/or
  • in compliance with the Garda Síochána Act, 2005 (as amended) and/or
  • to the extent that you have consented to this disclosure.

The third parties to whom we may provide this information may include parties to the investigation, the Garda Commissioner, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Tusla (the Child & Family Agency”) and the Garda Síochána Inspectorate. This list is not exhaustive.

We may also share your data with third parties insofar as this is necessary to fulfil our purposes as set out above and only where it is necessary to perform specific services. For example we may share your data with an IT service provider in order to allow our website to function. In all such instances we will ensure that your data is given the appropriate level of data protection under the applicable data protection legislation and that such third parties are subject to a contractual arrangement ensuring that your data is protected. They may only use your data for the exact purposes we specify in our contract with them.

  1. Direct Marketing and Surveys

GSOC does not engage in any direct marketing activity. However, from time to time (including on our Complaint Form), we offer individuals the option of providing us with certain voluntary additional information so as to assist us in assessing statistically important information. However, where we seek this information we make it clear as to the purposes behind the request and the voluntary nature of any response to it. Complainants who do not wish to provide this level of information need not do so and their decision in this regard will in no way have any effect on the way their complaint is treated.

  1. Social Media Engagement Programme

GSOC has a policy on its Social Media Engagement Programme. That policy sets out the purpose, and the parameters for the day to day operation, of that Programme. That policy is available here.

  1. Cookies

This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”). Google Analytics uses “cookies”, which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyse how users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to, and stored by, Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser; however, please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website.

  1. Security

Your data is held on secure servers. The nature of the Internet is such that we cannot guarantee or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us via the Internet. No data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. However, we will take all reasonable steps (including appropriate technical and organisational measures) to protect your data.

  1. Retaining your data

GSOC retains your data for as long as it is necessary to serve the purpose for which it was collected. For example, we will retain data relating to a complaint for the duration of the investigation of the complaint and in certain circumstances, where we have a legal or statutory obligation to do so, we may retain it for longer. This might occur if further legal action is taken following the completion of an investigation.

  1. Storing your information

The data that we collect from you is not generally transferred outside of the European Economic Area (“EEA”).  In the case that GSOC needs to transfer such data outside the EEA it will ensure that an adequate level of data protection in that country exists that is no less protective than that which is provided in Ireland.

  1. Right to access, amend and erase your information

If you would like to request access to your information or ask that we amend your information or seek an erasure of your information please contact the Data Protection Officer at dataprotection@gsoc.ie  or by writing to the below details setting out as much detail as possible:

Data Protection Officer

Garda Ombudsman

150 Upper Abbey Street

Dublin 1

D01 FT73

If you have consented to the use of your information you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time.

We hope you are happy with how we use your information but if you are not you may lodge a complaint with the Data Protection Commissioner at info@dataprotection.ie.

  1. Changes to this Privacy Notice

This Notice will be reviewed as required in light of any legislative or other relevant developments.