Monday, November 19, 2012

Acknowledgment from Irish Data Protection Commissioner

I've received a boilerplate response from the Irish Data Protection Commissioner's office to my complaint about Facebook. The haven't even looked at it closely enough yet to determine whether it is a "query" or a "formal complaint". This kind of 'we have to respond within x days to meet our target' rule is such a waste of time and energy when it leads to automation of these non-responses.

The non response includes a sign off warning I should not share it with anyone else - in Irish and English. Here it is in full:

"To Whom It May Concern

I acknowledge receipt of your e-mail to the Data Protection Commissioner.
Where your email relates to a query (as distinct from a formal complaint under the Data Protection Acts),  you should be aware that in line with our Customer Service Charter we aim to reply within 15 working days and usually much sooner.
 In doing so, we will communicate clearly, providing you with a full response to your query.

If we are not in a position to issue a reply within that period, we will inform you of its status.Regards

Office of the Data Protection Commissioner Canal House Station Road Portarlington Co. Laois

LoCall: 1890 252 231                         Ph: +353 (0)57 868 4800                 Fax: +353 (0)57
868 47 57

Is le haghaidh an duine nó an eintitis ar a bhfuil sí dírithe, agus le haghaidh an duine nó an eintitis sin amháin, a bheartaítear an fhaisnéis a tarchuireadh agus féadfaidh sé go bhfuil ábhar faoi rún agus/nó faoi phribhléid inti. Toirmisctear aon athbhreithniú, atarchur nó leathadh a dhéanamh ar an bhfaisnéis seo, aon úsáid eile a bhaint aisti nó aon ghníomh a dhéanamh ar a hiontaoibh, ag daoine nó ag eintitis seachas an faighteoir beartaithe. Má fuair tú é seo trí dhearmad, téigh i dteagmháil leis an seoltóir, le do thoil, agus scrios an t-ábhar as aon ríomhaire. Is é beartas na Roinne Dlí agus Cirt agus Comhionannais, na nOifígí agus na nGníomhaireachtaí a úsáideann seirbhísí TF na Roinne seoladh ábhair cholúil a dhícheadú.
Más rud é go measann tú gur ábhar colúil atá san ábhar atá sa teachtaireacht seo is ceart duit dul i dteagmháil leis an seoltóir láithreach agus le mailminder[ag] chomh maith.

The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from any computer.  It is the policy of the Department of Justice and Equality and the Agencies and Offices using its IT services to disallow the sending of offensive material.
Should you consider that the material contained in this message is offensive you should contact the sender immediately and also mailminder[at]"
They haven't even bothered to address me by name. Let's see what comes next within 15 days - my guess is an auto acknowledgement that my communication is not a query but a formal complaint which they will be required to address within the requisite time period set out in section 10 of the Irish Data Protection Act.

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