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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 13th November 2017.

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Photo of Lord Clement-Jones Lord Clement-Jones Chair, Artificial Intelligence Committee, Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Digital), Chair, Artificial Intelligence Committee 7:15 pm, 13th November 2017

Yes, my Lords, but it is in the recital, so I think we come back again to whether the recitals form part of the Bill. That is what I believe to be the case. I may have to write to the Minister. Who knows? Anything is possible.

One of the key points—raised by the noble Lord, Lord Lucas—is the question of human intervention being meaningful. To me, “solely”, in the ordinary meaning of the word, does not mean that human intervention is there at all, and that is a real worry. The writ of the article 29 working group may run until Brexit but, frankly, after Brexit we will not be part of the article 29 working group, so what interpretation of the GDPR will we have when it is incorporated into UK domestic law? If those rights are not to be granted, the interpretation of “solely” with the absolute requirement of human involvement needs to be on the face of the Bill.

As far as recital 71 is concerned, I think that the Minister will write with his interpretation and about the impact of the article 29 working group and whether we incorporate its views. If the Government are not prepared to accept that the rulings of the European Court of Justice will be effective in UK law after Brexit, I can only assume that the article 29 working group will have no more impact. Therefore, there is a real issue there.

I take the Minister’s point about safeguards under the Equality Act. That is important and there are other aspects that we will no doubt wish to look at very carefully. I was not overly convinced by his answer to Amendment 75, spoken to by the noble Baroness, Lady Jones, and my noble friend Lady Hamwee, because he said, “Well, it’s all there anyway”. I do not think we would have had to incorporate those words unless we felt there was a gap in the way the clause operated.

I will not take the arguments any further but I am not quite as optimistic as the Minister about the impact of that part of the Bill, and we may well come back to various forms of this subject on Report. However, it would be helpful if the Minister indicated the guidance the ICO is adopting in respect of the issue raised in Amendment 153A. When he writes, perhaps he could direct us to those aspects of the guidance that will be applicable in order to help us decide whether to come back to Amendment 153A. In the meantime, I beg leave to withdraw.

Amendment 74 withdrawn.

Amendments 74A and 75 not moved.