The Central Statistics Office has written to the households affected but says it is unlikely the information stolen would be of interest “to anyone other than census staff”.
A spokesperson for the CSO said the information was contained in an Enumerator Record Book (ERB) which was stolen from a car at the Red Cow Park & Ride in Dublin, along with a high-visibility jacket; maps; and a number of blank, undelivered census forms.
The incident took place on Wednesday, April 6, when the thief broke the enumerator’s car window to gain access to the vehicle.
“The ERB contains details of all of the dwellings/addresses in the enumerator’s assigned area,” the CSO said.
“As the enumerator delivers each form she records the householder’s name, and in some instances their phone number, in the ERB. She had delivered 142 census forms at the time the ERB was stolen.”
The spokesperson said the CSO has reported the theft to both the gardaí and Data Protection Commissioner, and has contacted all 142 households whose details were in the ERB to inform them of the theft.
“The CSO has directly expressed its regrets to the householders whose details were included on the stolen ERB,” it said.
The CSO is committed to maintaining the security and confidentiality of the data provided to it. We will continue to work closely with the gardaí in the apprehension of the perpetrators of this theft.”
The commissioner’s office confirmed it received “a breach notification” from the CSO but said “any investigations on foot of a breach notification or complaint to this office in respect of same are treated as confidential”.