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.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Lucas Lord Lucas Conservative 5:43 pm, 13th November 2017

My Lords, I thank the Open Rights Group for pushing for this amendment, and particularly the Public Bill Office for getting it into a form that is acceptable in the Bill. This amendment addresses age verification for accessing pornography; currently there are no specific safeguards. However, sexual preferences are very sensitive, so this amendment allows—it does not compel—regulation at a higher level than is currently the case. The pornography industry has a woeful record of regular, large-scale breaches of data security and I do not believe that we should trust it. Even if we think we might trust the industry, we ought to be in a position where we do not have to. Our young people deserve proper protection regarding some very sensitive data.

I believe that we should take this seriously—my experience of young boys of 14 and 15 is that they are being exposed to high-grade pornography on a large scale, something that in the context of their relationships with women later in life we may want to think about carefully. Therefore, surely we should take the opportunity to give ourselves the powers to take action, should we decide that that is necessary, rather than having to come back to primary legislation with all the time and delay that that involves. We can anticipate this difficulty—we can see it coming down the tracks—so let us prepare for it. I beg to move.