Privacy and cookies

1. Introduction

We at the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (“GSOC”) respect your right to privacy. We will comply with our obligations under the Data Protection Acts, 1988 and 2003.

The purpose of this Website Privacy Policy is to outline how we deal with any personal data that you provide to us while visiting this website. If you are not happy with this Website Privacy Policy, you should not use this website.

By visiting this website, you are accepting the terms of this Website Privacy Policy.

Any external links to other websites are clearly identifiable as such and GSOC is not responsible for the content (or the privacy policies) of those other websites.

2. Types of Information Collected via GSOC’s website

We retain two types of information:

“Personal Data”

This is data that identifies you or can be used to identify or contact you and may include your name, address, email address, user IP addresses (in circumstances where they have not been deleted, clipped or anonymised), telephone number, date of birth and any other such data which has been provided by you on this website’s Online Complaint Form. Such information is only collected (via the website) from you if you voluntarily submit it to us.

“Non-Personal Data”

Like most organisations, GSOC gathers statistical and other analytical information collected on an aggregate basis of all visitors to our website. This Non-Personal Data comprises information that cannot be used to identify or contact you, such as demographic information regarding, for example, user IP addresses (where they have been clipped or anonymised), browser types and other anonymous statistical data involving the use of our website.


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. By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner, and for the purposes, set out above.

3. Purposes for which we hold your Information

Personal Data

We will process any Personal Data you provide to us for the purposes of fulfilling our statutory functions under the Garda Síochána Act, 2005 (as amended).

Non-Personal Data

We use the Non-Personal Data gathered from visitors to our website in an aggregate form to get a better understanding of where our website visitors come from and to help us design and organise our website better.

4. Disclosure of Information to Third Parties

Personal Data

We will not disclose your Personal 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 and the Garda Síochána Inspectorate. This list is not exhaustive.

Information Shared with the Garda Commissioner

We may share information with the Garda Commissioner in accordance with section 81 of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005 (as amended) and having regard to the Memorandum of Understanding, Protocols and Agreement on Operational Matters. In particular, your attention is drawn to Part 4 (“Sharing of information, including evidence”) and Appendix 3 (“Information Sharing Protocol”) of that Memorandum.

Non-Personal Data

We may provide Non-Personal Data to third parties, where such information is combined with similar information of other users of our website. For example, we might inform third parties regarding the number of unique users who visit our website, the demographic breakdown of community users of our website or the activities that visitors to our website engage in while on our website.

5. Security

Your Personal 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 Personal Data.

6. Updating, Verifying and Deleting Personal Data

Under the Data Protection Acts, 1988 and 2003, you are entitled to apply to have your personal data updated and you may inform us at any time of any changes in your personal data. To request information on what personal data we hold on you or to request to have your personal data updated, amended or removed from our database, please write to:

Data Protection Officer
Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission
150 Abbey Street Upper
Dublin 1.

Following receipt, your application will be considered and a response will issue to you in this regard within the applicable statutory timeframe.

Any such data subject requests may be subject to the prescribed fee.

7. 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.

8. Changes to this Website Privacy Policy

This Website Privacy Policy replaces, with effect from the date of signature, all previous versions of this Policy.

This Policy may be updated from time to time in the light of operational experience.

GSOC will ensure that the most up to date version of its Website Privacy Policy will be posted on this website so you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it.

If at any time we decide to use personal data in a manner significantly different from that stated in this Website Privacy Policy, or otherwise disclosed to you at the time it was collected, we will notify you and you will have a choice as to whether or not we may use your information in the new manner.

This policy is dated 5th July, 2013.