While I was in Dublin for work in September, I was hearing a lot of people concerned about water meters being instated in households. To my surprise I had no idea that residents of Ireland did not pay for their water services, here in Canada we pay for all our water consumption.
One of the weekends I was wandering around the city I stumbled upon a protest near the city center. What was unclear to me was why so many people were opposed to having water meters installed in their households. Was it purely the cost of what Irish Water would be charging? It seems like its more complicated than that. Some people are completely opposed to having to pay for water as they figure it rains plenty in Ireland. Others believe this isn’t a problem as the water needs to be processed and filtered for drinking anyways and the government needs to recoup the cost somehow. BUT the big issue seems to be how this new company will be run and privacy concerns in general. It seems Irish Water is asking for a lot of private information to allow individuals to receive water in the first place. Every household is required to hand over every individuals PPS numbers in that household (PPS is equal to our Social Insurance Card here in Canada). Another issue is Irish Water is not ISO 27001 verified and certified which means all the data you hand over to them is insecure, which is causing a lot of individuals to worry about their personal information being used for identity fraud.
Personally I have to side with the citizens on this one. I would never be comfortable handing over my SIN number, credit card information, etc to a company that is not certified as secure and potentially might hand my information over to another organization. I’m still reading about this topic and haven’t finished all my research. If any of your readers are from Ireland I’d love to hear more from them as well. Below are some images of the protest in question.
All images were shot with a Leica M9 and the Canon 50mm f/1.4 LTM lens.