Tirlán experiences teething issues, as data breach prompts DPC investigation.

A significant data breach at the newly-named company has resulted in farmers receiving sensitive information.

Tirlán has announced that a substantial data breach has resulted in an investigation by the office of the Data Protection Commissioner. In a statement, the company, which celebrated its rebranding from Glanbia to Tirlán in late August, acknowledged that private data relating to milk statements for the month of August had accidentally been issued to the wrong recipients, resulting in farmers having their data shared with other farmers. According to the statement, a “significant amount” of data contained within the milk statements was issued in error. This data is believed to be enough to reveal a detailed overview of private farm businesses.

In accordance with data protection regulations, Tirlán immediately contacted the DPC to initiate an investigation into the matter, and have let it be known that they will comply fully with any requests the office may have. It is hoped by those at the company that, should only minimal short-term distress be caused, larger damages cases can be minimised and avoided outright.

The means by which Tirlán issues milk statements is handled by a third-party company, and as such, Tirlán has also announced an investigation with this company into how such a course of events took hold. 

According to Tirlán, a track and retrieval process has been instigated, which will allow the company to prioritise the manner in which sensitive information is recovered. Farmers who have received sensitive information not pertaining to their own dealings with the company have been issued a prepaid envelope, in which they have been requested to return any sensitive documents as soon as possible. Any farmer who engages in sharing information that has been accidentally passed on to them will also be breaching data protection laws.

Tirlán wished to make it known that although the issuing of physical milk statements had been severely compromised, farmers would be able to access accurate and correct information on their milk statements via the online portal made available to them. As such, farmers have been advised to make use of this facility.

The mistake comes little over a month since Tirlán announced its new name, having previously been known as Glanbia. This name change was prompted by a vote by members of the Glanbia co-op to acquire the remaining shares in the Irish agricultural produce sector, previously held by Glanbia PLC. 

In conversation with the University Observer last month, Tirlán CEO Jim Bergin assessed the challenges ahead for the business in adjusting to its new name, asserting that these challenges are viewed more so as opportunities within the company. The recent data breach at the company has not made this an ideal start, and a resolution to the issues causing the breach will be intensely researched.