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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:00 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 7:00 pm, 13th November 2017

I will. I had some inspiration from elsewhere on that very subject—but it was then withdrawn, so I will take up the offer to write on that. However, I take the noble Lord’s point.

We do not think that Amendment 75 would work. It seeks to prevent any decision being taken on the basis of automated decision-making where the decision would “engage” the rights of the data subject under the Human Rights Act. Arguably, such a provision would wholly negate the provisions in respect of automated decision-making as it would be possible to argue that any decision based on automated decision-making at the very least engaged the data subject’s right to have their private life respected under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, even if it was entirely lawful. All decisions relating to the processing of personal data engage an individual’s human rights, so it would not be appropriate to exclude automated decisions on this basis. The purpose of the Bill is to ensure that we reflect processing in the digital age—and that includes automated processing. This will often be a legitimate form of processing, but it is right that the Bill should recognise the additional sensitivities that surround it. There must be sufficient checks and balances and the Bill achieves this in Clauses 13 and 48 by ensuring appropriate notification requirements and the right to have a decision reassessed by non-automated means.