The leader of the Social Democrat’s and TD for Cork South-West, Holly Cairns, has sought clarification from the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee regarding the potential use of tracking devices on private citizens by private investigators.
Deputy Cairns also sought clarification from the minister on the number of private investigators operating within the state.
In her reply to the Cork TD, Minister McEntee referred the TD to the work of The Private Security Authority (PSA), which is an independent body under the aegis of her Department.
The PSA is also the statutory body with responsibility for licensing and regulating the private security industry in Ireland.
According to the PSA, as of the end of June 2023, there are 94 contractors and 176 individuals licensed by the PSA to operate as Private Investigators in the State.
Minister McEntee did not confirm or deny the possible use of tracking devices on private citizens but merely indicated that the use of trackers without the consent of the person being tracked may be a breach of Data Protection legislation.
The PSA has published guidance on this matter, reference PSA 63, which is available on their website, www.psa-gov.ie.
The minister concluded here reply to Deputy Cairns by noting that where a private investigator is found by the Data Protection Commission to be in breach of the Data Protection Acts, the PSA may act against the private investigator’s licence.
Such action could include the suspension or revocation of a licence.