Data Protection Bill [HL] - Committee (3rd Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:43 pm on 13th November 2017.

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Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 5:43 pm, 13th November 2017

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness for making her debut in the Committee stage and to the noble Lord for his comments. By way of background, because I find it quite complicated, it is worth reminding ourselves that article 9 of the GDPR provides processing conditions for special categories of data. In particular, the processing necessary for,

“the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims”,

is permitted by article 9(2)(f). It is directly applicable and does not allow any discretion to derogate from it in any way. Article 10 of the GDPR, which relates to criminal convictions and offences data, takes a different approach. It requires member states to set out in their law conditions relating to the processing of said criminal convictions and offences data in order to enable many organisations to process it. Paragraph 26 of Schedule 1 therefore seeks to maintain the status quo by replicating in relation to criminal convictions data the processing condition for the special categories of personal data contained in article 9(2)(f).

Government Amendment 65, referred to by the noble Baroness, responds to a request we have had from stakeholders to anglicise the language currently used in that paragraph. The Government strongly agree about the importance of ensuring that data protection law does not accidentally undermine the proper conduct of legal proceedings, which is why we have made this provision. We submit that Amendments 63A and 64A are unnecessary. They are predicated on the false premise that government Amendment 65 in some way changes the scope of paragraph 26. It does not, it simply anglicises it. However, even if different wording were to be used in Amendment 63A to that used in Amendment 65, we are certain that the Commission would take a dim view of member states attempting to use article 9(2)(g), the substantial public interest processing condition, to expand article 9(2)(f) in the way that Amendment 63A proposes. In the light of that explanation, I would be grateful if in this case the noble Baroness would withdraw her amendment.