Data Protection Bill [HL] - Commons Amendments

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:45 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 6:45 pm, 14th May 2018

My Lords, I am very grateful for the contribution of all noble Lords on this, especially the noble Baroness, Lady Kidron. It is very nice to be in her good books.

The noble Lord, Lord Clement Jones, talked about the age-appropriate design code and when the Information Commissioner will get going. As he rightly said, the Bill has not come into force yet; nevertheless, we understand that the Information Commissioner is already setting the wheels in motion for a comprehensive age-appropriate design code and will launch a call for evidence imminently. During that process she will be seeking evidence and views on the content of the code in line with the points raised in the debate in this House and elsewhere. So I confirm what he suggested was the case; indeed, work is already being done.

The noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, mentioned the focus of the code. In mentioning vulnerable people I was trying to bring him back to some of the points I think he made: I did not want anyone to get the impression that we were concentrating just on children—albeit they are very important—and their particular rights under the code. It will include vulnerable people, but also the way that it operates in general. Although children rightly have a special mention, we are also concerned with people who may have particular problems and may be vulnerable. I think this should exactly satisfy some of the things the noble Lord mentioned in previous debates.

As for the Ministry of Defence, it does try to keep in touch. In fact, it is a duty of an ex-regular reservist to keep the MoD in touch with their whereabouts. Some 49%, I believe, do not do so: we want to use this information to keep in touch with the reserve for the security of the country and that is why we are doing this. I also point out that there are protections: the commissioners of the Inland Revenue have to give permission before information is disclosed to anyone else or elsewhere.

Motion on Amendment 115 agreed.