Data Protection Bill [HL] - Commons Amendments

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:37 pm on 14th May 2018.

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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 6:37 pm, 14th May 2018

My Lords, the main amendments in this group relate to the representation of data subjects by not-for-profit bodies. Last time we discussed this matter, the question before us was whether those bodies should have to seek the mandate—that is, the consent—of data subjects before pursuing claims on their behalf.

As I said then,

“the Government have reflected on the principles at stake here and agree it would be reasonable for a review to be undertaken, two years after Royal Assent, of the effectiveness of”—

Clause 183—

“as it is currently drafted. The Government are fully prepared to look again at the issue”,

of representation without prior mandate in the context of that review.

“We are serious about this. We will therefore amend the Bill in the other place to provide for such a review and to provide the power for the Government to implement its conclusions”.—[Official Report, 10/1/18; col. 287.]

Commons Amendments 122 and 123 duly deliver on that promise, while Commons Amendment 121 allows the Secretary of State to make regulations to ensure that, where a not-for-profit seeks to represent a large number of data subjects in court proceedings, it can file one claim and not hundreds.

I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Kidron, for her continued engagement on this subject. She and I are in total agreement that children merit specific protection in relation to their personal data, and that the review should look accordingly at the specific barriers young people face in exercising their rights. Therefore, Commons Amendment 122 makes provision for that in subsections (4), (5) and (6) of the proposed new clause. Of course, as some noble Lords have mentioned previously, such provision is not to the exclusion of other vulnerable groups in our society, and the Government fully expect that review to consider their position, too.

Commons Amendment 126 would allow Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs to share contact detail information with the Ministry of Defence to ensure that the Ministry of Defence is better able to locate and contact members of the ex-regular reserve. The amendment does not alter the liability for ex-regular reserves, nor does it affect the rules regarding the call-out or recall of ex-regular reserves; it is simply about being better able to contact them. The security of the United Kingdom is the primary responsibility of government. Commons Amendment 126 offers us the opportunity to strengthen that security.

Finally, Commons Amendment 282 would insert a schedule making transitional, transitory and saving provision in connection with the coming into force of the Bill, including provision about subject access requests, the Information Commissioner’s enforcement powers and national security certificates. This comprehensive new schedule, running to some 19 pages, is designed to ensure a seamless shift between the 1998 Act and the new data protection law we are scrutinising today. I beg to move.