The Public Services Card is Illegal

But the government has duped 3 million people in Ireland into signing up to have their personal and biometric data abused.

Man with PSC barcode tattoo on forehead

If You've Ever Had a PSC, Your Rights Were Breached.

The Data Protection Commissioner has found that your privacy rights were violated by the PSC including unlawful sharing of your data. It's ordered the destruction of 3.2 million PSC records. The Government is refusing to comply.

The Government Knows It's Illegal.

The government has badgered and cajoled millions of people into signing up for the card and database without legal basis. The PSC has unlawfully spread across departments, functionally turning the PSC into a National ID Card without legislation or debate.

STOP Biometric Data Abuse

The Government is still processing personal and biometric data after it’s been told it's illegal.

STOP Illegal Expansion

Vital services have been illegally withheld from citizens without PSCs across multiple departments.

STOP Data Warehousing

The Government is still holding personal PSC data 'indefinitely' which is illegal under GDPR.

STOP Illegal Sharing

PSC data is still illegally being shared with other departments by the Department of Social Protection.

PSC Does NOT Save Taxpayer Money

The PSC costs 3,647% more than it saves. According to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection's own published statistics given to the DPC, the PSC project has cost tens of millions of euros and recovered, at best, just 1.7million in fraud.



PSC cards issued to people in Ireland.



spent on the PSC scheme roll out so far.



saved in fraudulent welfare benefit claims.

Woman holding PSC card

A PSC is NOT Mandatory.

The independent supervisory authority charged with protecting your privacy is the Data Protection Commission (the DPC). The DPC has made the legal position crystal clear in their recent report to the Government: the current PSC project is illegal.

Despite this, multiple public bodies have illegally refused services to citizens without a PSC:
  1. Passport applications denied by the Passport Office

  2. Driving License Renewals refused by the NDLS

  3. Parents refused a school bus appeal by the Department of Education and Skills

  4. Pensions cut off by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Taking those services away from you to force you to get a card is and always has been illegal. 

We Need Your Help to Make It STOP

If you have ever had a PSC -- even voluntarily -- you can join our mass action complaint and help us make the government face the DPC's full powers under GDPR. Those new powers include million euro fines, a ban on data processing and the forced erasure of data.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions, please feel free to check out the information below and contact us by email, on Twitter or on Facebook.

Digital Rights Ireland is dedicated to defending Civil, Human and Legal rights in a digital age. We are a small organisation focused on public activism, legislative advocacy, and mounting legal challenges. We’re making a complaint to the Data Protection Commission about the Public Services Card and the biometric database. We’re making it on behalf of people who have a public services card, whether they signed up voluntarily, didn’t know what they were signing up for, or were badgered into it or told they had to do it.

Yes, the Data Protection Commission has issued a report detailing the PSC project’s illegality. That finding was made under the old data protection scheme, the 1988 and 2003 Data Protection Acts. This complaint is a new complaint under GDPR. Triggering an investigation under GDPR allows the Data Protection Commission to take more extensive measures and to impose greater penalties or fines. It also makes it crystal clear that the Data Protection Commission’s findings must enforced.

Anybody who has or has had a public services card, whether you signed up for it voluntarily or not.

We will take the mandate you have given us and make a complaint to the Data Protection Commission on your behalf. If you have let us, we will also email you regularly to keep you up to date on the project.

You can change your mind and remove yourself from the complaint to the DPC any time you want. (We can remove your data, or give you a copy of it as well.) You may contact us at to make this request.

There is no charge to join this action. However, we’d appreciate your support in the form of a donation. Even 10 or 20 euros makes a big difference to us. Please try to help if you can. Mounting a challenge like this takes significant resources and we are funded entirely from donors like you.

Yes. Making a complaint empowers the DPC to investigate, but doesn’t oblige you to stop using public services or your public services card.

No. The complaint is submitted solely in the name of Digital Rights Ireland. While the DPC may ask for proof DRI has been asked to make these complaints, there is no reason for that information to be passed on to any departments you may deal with in relation to healthcare, benefit, pensions, etc.