No compromise on confidentiality

Dear Editor, The suspension by the Samaritans of their Samaritans Twitter App on the grounds of invasion of peoples’ privacy, is to be welcomed.

The introduction of this app is very disconcerting as the core value of Samaritans is advertised as caller confidentiality.

The Samaritans remain a very important and necessary service in Irish society. As such it is important that their activities are monitored.

Samaritans is essentiality a British-led and managed body with branches in Ireland. Within the Republic it entered into a relationship with Facebook in 2011 which again had to be modified when the Data Commissioner intervened on behalf of the privacy of citizens.

It appears that the Samaritans wish to become a partner with one of the large online companies, which as they should now realise is fraught with difficulties.

The fact is that the Samaritans agreed in 2011 to compromise caller confidentiality in the Republic of Ireland, and become a reporting agency for the HSE, which remains their policy, despite it being so clearly against Samaritan ethos. Maybe it is time for Samaritans within Ireland to manage their own organisation?

Yours etc.,

Anthony J. Jordan,

Sandymount, Dublin 4.