Gsoc leaked sensitive complaint file

Gsoc leaked a complainant’s entire case file – which concerned a sensitive, personal matter – to another person with the same name.

Gsoc’s data protection unit sent the case file to the third party by secure email after they made a GDPR request seeking a copy of their own complaint to the garda watchdog.

The leaked records include a copy of a complaint form and the name of the midlands station where the garda who was the subject of the allegations is based.

Sensitive information

In November 2023 a woman based in Ulster, who spoke to The Ditch on the condition of anonymity, submitted a GDPR request to Gsoc seeking a copy of her case file, which included serious allegations of wrongdoing against a member of An Garda Síochána. 

Gsoc earlier this month sent the woman a 164-page PDF file by secure email that should have only contained a copy of her complaint case file.

The first 26 pages of the file seen by The Ditch however relate to the complaint of a different person who happened to share the exact same full name as the woman but lives in a different county.

The accidentally leaked file included allegations that a midlands-based garda passed on sensitive information about a burglary to the local press. 

Several pages also contained details of phone calls between Gsoc and the complainant. The complaint was eventually deemed inadmissible by the watchdog.

The woman who was sent the case file in error has informed Gsoc of the leak and it is understood that the matter will likely be referred to the Data Protection Commissioner.

Gsoc has been contacted for comment.

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors