Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, has expressed concern following reports that highly sensitive data from the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation held by Tusla could be compromised in the event of a cyber-attack.
Teachta Funchion said:
“The Minister assured survivors that their personal data would be safe and that they would not have to fear it could be destroyed. This happened after officials from his department went to great lengths to secure the testimonies and other materials gathered as part of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation.
“To learn today that if Tusla were to experience a cyber-attack then some 850,000 pages of records could be destroyed, lost, altered or disclosed without authorisation is extremely concerning.
“I have been contacted by several survivors this morning very distressed that their records could be compromised if such an attack was to occur.
“The recent HSE cyber-attack demonstrated how vulnerable the State’s digital systems are. If an attack were to occur the effect on survivors would not just be detrimental it would be devastating.
“I am calling on the Minister for Children, Roderic O’Gorman to work with the Minister for State Ossian Smyth to ensure a comprehensive security plan is put in place immediately. All databases and digital systems that Tusla operates must be robust enough to withstand any attack.
“Lessons must be learned from recent experiences and the Government must act to ensure that survivors’ personal and painful testimonies are safe and secure for time immemorial.”