Data protection breaches by national news publishers

Part of Data Protection Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 15th May 2018.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 2:30 pm, 15th May 2018

I agree comprehensively with my hon. Friend, who set it out incredibly well.

I want to take a look at the precise details of amendment 62B, because it is unnecessary. First, it promises to look into the reporting restrictions around arrests, but this work is already under way. Indeed, I have committed to working with hon. Members to get the details right. Secondly, it promises to look into the impact of social media, but we are already undertaking this with the Cairncross review, which has started to take evidence right around the country. Thirdly, it promises to look into Northern Ireland, but this has already been provided for with the review outlined in new clause 23 last week.

In addition to replicating a lot of what is already going on, the amendment goes over ground already covered by the Leveson inquiry, the three substantial police investigations and the two Select Committee investigations. There has been no shortage of inquiry. I am focused instead on getting the system right for the future. The amendment is unnecessary at a time when we should be coming together to face the challenges of the future.

I fully understand the strength of feeling on the issue of press standards. I supported the original Leveson inquiry, and I have met victims of press intrusion, including some in this House, and, worse still, have heard about the impact on Members and their families. I am fully aware of the distress caused and of how lives have been affected by false allegations, how hacking was used to access the most intimate messages and how personal information was obtained through blagging and deception, but much has changed since the inquiry, While our press are not perfect, the culture that allowed phone hacking to become the norm has gone, and, with the newly strengthened IPSO, this country now has the most robust system of redress for press intrusion that it has ever had.