IE: Private investigator used civil servant to access personal data

A private investigator, who used a mole in the Department of Social Protection to mine their their computer system for personal information on people, has been fined €4,000.

James Cowley (65) with an address at Brookdale Lawns, Rivervalley, Swords, Dublin pleaded guilty to 13 charges under Section 22 of the Data Protection Act for unlawfully obtaining access to personal data and disclosing it to third parties without authorisation of the Department of Social Protection.

Permanent TSB Bank had hired him to trace people while insurance companies including Zurich, Alliance and the State Claims Agency used his services to carry out surveillance on possible bogus claimants in personal injuries cases.

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