Matters to be taken into account before giving retention notices

Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 19 April 2016.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Minister (Home Office) 4:15, 19 April 2016

I beg to move amendment 175, in clause 79, page 62, line 34, at end insert—

“() the public interest in the protection of privacy and the integrity of personal data; and

() the public interest in the integrity of communications systems and computer networks

Clause 79 sets out those matters to be taken into account before giving a retention notice, as well as likely benefits and the likely number of users. Amendment 175 would add two public interest matters to that list. My argument is similar to the one I made on other provisions. Where matters are to be taken into account, it is important that the protection of privacy and the integrity of personal data and of communications systems are specifically listed. I have moved to a position of thinking that an overarching privacy clause is probably the way to achieve this end; this is therefore a probing amendment and I will not press it to a vote.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

I am grateful for the way in which the hon. and learned Gentleman states his case. To put it extremely simply, we would argue that the public interest in the protection of privacy and in the integrity of personal data are already factored in by the provisions of the Bill.

First, proportionality must include consideration of the protection of privacy. Secondly, the integrity of personal data being such an important public interest is why clause 81 requires any retained communications data to be of at least the same integrity as the business data from which they are derived. A retention notice will therefore not be permitted to do anything that would undermine the integrity of the data that the operator already holds for business purposes. That is all I want to say about the matter, but I assure hon. and learned Gentleman that those important considerations are at the heart of the processes we have followed.

Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Minister (Home Office)

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 79 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 80