The office of the Data Protection Commissioner is examining a data breach at dairy processor Tirlán, concerning the private data of farmers being sent to incorrect recipients.

Tirlán has apologised to its milk suppliers over the issue which occurred when monthly milk statements for August were sent to suppliers.

A significant number of those statements, which are issued by a third-party company, contained data not belonging to the recipients.

In a statement Tirlán said they themselves referred the matter to the Data Protection Commissioner, and the company will follow the instructions of the DPC in relation to dealing with this incident.

They added that an investigation is continuing as a matter of urgency with the third-party provider to establish the root cause of this incident.

DPC Deputy Commissioner Graham Doyle confirmed their office is currently assessing the issue.

Tirlán has contacted all suppliers affected by the incident and has requested that recipients of the data of others return it to the company in a prepaid envelope that has been posted to them.

Tirlán has a total of 4,200 milk suppliers, many of whom access their data online.

The online data was not compromised according to the company, and all suppliers can check their correct milk statements online via the website.