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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:45 pm on 13th November 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Hamwee Baroness Hamwee Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Immigration) 6:45 pm, 13th November 2017

My Lords, I too want to say a word about Amendment 75. The Human Rights Act trumps everything. To put it another way, the fundamental rights it deals with are incorporated into UK law, and they trump everything.

Like the noble Baroness, I believe that it is quite right that those who are responsible—humans—stop and think whether fundamental human rights are engaged. The right not to be subject to unfair discrimination has been referred to. Both the Bill and the GDPR recognised that as an issue in the provisions on profiling, but we need this overarching provision. Like other noble Lords, I find it so unsettling to be faced with what are clearly algorithmic decisions.

When I was on holiday I went to a restaurant in France called L’Algorithme, which was very worrying but I was allowed to choose my own meal. If this work continues in the industry, perhaps I will not be allowed to do so next year. I wondered about the practicalities of this, and whether through this amendment we are seeking something difficult to implement—but I do not think so. Law enforcement agencies under a later part of the Bill may not make significant decisions adversely affecting a data subject. Judgments of this sort must be practicable. That was a concern in my mind, and I thought that I would articulate my dismissal of that concern.