Colin Murphy: Autism ‘spying’ scandal highlights the dilemma of prying versus privacy

The recent RTÉ expose of state information-gathering is a disturbing reminder of the increase in surveillance on our lives. But protecting our privacy against that has a cost

The story reported last week by RTÉ’s Conor Ryan was based on information supplied by Shane Corr, a Department of Health whistleblower

Some time in 2017, the Department of Health wrote to a medical professional who was providing clinical services to an autistic child, requesting information on that child and their family. The family had previously taken a case against the department seeking services for their child, but that case had been dormant for a decade.

The department asked the clinician not to inform the family that the department had sought this information.

The department had a ...