Thursday, 24 July 2014

Latest on bmd indexes fiasco

It's a week now since the brand-new 'enhanced' civil registration indexes were unceremoniously pulled from at the insistence of the Data Protection Commissioner (see blogpost).

Although there was a lot of press coverage on the topic at the beginning of the week – most it being approached from the data protection and privacy angle – there's been no official word to reassure genealogists about what's going to happen next.

I'm pleased to say that after making a nuisance of myself all week, I've finally got something official. Not much, admittedly, but something. It's from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the government department responsible for the website. Here it is:

'The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is currently engaging with both the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner and the Department of Social Protection to ensure that the issues raised by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner are promptly resolved and to ensure that this very valuable genealogical information can be restored as soon as possible.'

My bold.

Much as I love the use of the word 'restored', I don't think we should anticipate a 'restoration' of the 1845/1864 to 2013 indexes in their launch format. Either information such as actual birth dates and maiden names will be redacted for the more recent records or the three government agencies will come to some agreement about a cut-off dates for records to be included.

UPDATE: 26 July 2014 - This from the DAHG was published in the Irish Times today.