Cork history buff told to remove 1926 census details from Facebook

Cork history buff told to remove 1926 census details from Facebook

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DETAILS of the 1926 census have been taken down from a Cork Facebook page, because of concerns about breaches of statistics legislation and data protection.

Fermoy man John O’Connell uploaded photographs of 270 pages of the first census of the Irish Free State, for the Fermoy area, on the Fermoy Facebook page.

However, he was contacted by the CSO, who advised him to remove the materials, as it was in breach of Section 38 of the Statistics Act 1993, and could potentially be in breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), because people mentioned in the 1926 census could still be alive. Mr O’Connell has now removed the material.

“It has had nearly 11,000 views,” he told The Echo. “It took me a long time to put up all the pages and get the quality right.”

He said he was unaware, at the time, that he was breaching any legislation.

“A copy of the 1926 census has been posted on social media, in breach of legislation which closes all census returns from 1926 to the public for 100 years,” a CSO spokesperson said. “Publication of this data is strictly prohibited.”

“The CSO has alerted An Garda Síochána and the National Archive to the publication of an extract from the 1926 census on social media. In addition, the CSO has made contact with the individual who posted the material, who has agreed to remove the material from social media.”

The materials will now be handed over to the CSO, which will, in turn, transfer them to the National Archives.

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