Updated: 09/11/17 : 13:36:12
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Shatter wins 'breach of duties' challenge over Wallace remarks

Former minister for justice Alan Shatter has won his challenge to a finding that his disclosure of information about Independent TD Mick Wallace on a live TV programme was a breach of his duties under the Data Protection Act.

Mr Shatter denied his reference during an RTÉ Prime Time interview in May 2013 to Mr Wallace being cautioned by gardaí over allegedly using a mobile phone while driving amounted to a use and disclosure of Mr Wallace's personal data.

The Data Protection Commissioner ruled this disclosure breached Mr Shatter's duties under the Data Protection Act.

RTÉ reports that the Circuit Civil Court upheld this decision and dismissed Mr Shatter's appeal. However, the High Court has now found in favour of Mr Shatter.

Mr Wallace complained to the Data Protection Commissioner after the Prime Time interview.

He has taken separate civil proceedings against the Minster for Justice, and against Mr Shatter personally, over the matter that have yet to be heard.

Mr Shatter claimed the then Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes failed to set out the basis for his conclusion the information was personal data, and had prejudged that issue and acted in breach of fair procedures.

Mr Shatter's lawyers said he never had, or saw, any written record of the information communicated to him during a conversation with then Garda Commissioner Martin Callanan.

He said the information was "in his mind" only and what he said did not amount to "processing" it.

The Data Protection Commissioner maintained Mr Shatter "processed" data of Mr Wallace's within the meaning of the legislation.

Lawyers for the Data Protection Commissioner said processing meant using and disclosing personal data and to do that involved an act of processing.