Consultation on the collection and use of data from electric vehicle charging points and smart charge points

Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:30 pm on 16th November 2017.

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‘The Secretary of State must consult with such persons as the Secretary of State considers appropriate on the collection and use of data from electric vehicle charging points and smart charge points. The consultation must address—

(a) who is responsible for collecting the data from electric vehicles and from any associated charging or network infrastructure used by such vehicles,

(b) how the data is shared between different parties, and

(c) any limitations on the use of such data.’—

This new clause would require the Secretary of State to consult on the collection and use of data from electric vehicle charging points and smart charge points.

Brought up, and read the First time.

Photo of Karl Turner Karl Turner Shadow Minister (Transport)

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

I do not intend to speak for long to this new clause, which stands in my name and that of my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, Deptford. It focuses on the collection and use of data from electric charging points, which will bring about many of the same issues that we discussed in the debate on new clause 16.

As with automated vehicles and the data they collect, charging points for electric vehicles will also hold important and useful information, which, were it to fall into the wrong hands, could be damaging. It is important that we get that side of the legislation right. As the technology advances, it is likely that more and more information will be held. Some of that information will be personal, sensitive information. That is why it is important that the Government ensure that the gathered data is secure and private. It is also important that the legislation deals with who is responsible for collecting the data, how the data is then shared between the different parties, and any limitations on such data.

With new clause 20, we are asking the Minister to properly consult the relevant stakeholders in this area to ensure that the correct safeguards are put in place. I hope that the Minister supports my intention and will be able to give some assurances in this area.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Department for Transport)

I can deal with this very quickly: I do agree and I will take those steps.

Photo of Karl Turner Karl Turner Shadow Minister (Transport)

On that basis, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the motion.

A very good note to end on.

Clause, by leave, withdrawn.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Department for Transport)

On a point of order, Sir Edward. As we conclude our work on the Bill, I want to offer my thanks, of course, to you, Sir Edward, and Mr Bailey for chairing the Committee, and to all members of the Committee. I think it is now a matter of fact that our considerations have been dutiful and considered and continued in the spirit of conviviality and good will in which they began.

Bernard Shaw said:

“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.”

But he was wrong about that. In truth, all we have known, been and done informs, inspires and enlivens all we can know, be and do. What we do in respect of the Bill must be informed by all that has passed and that we have learned from the past. This is a new technology, although many of the principles that we have discussed are time-honoured ones. We have spoken just today about skills. We have spoken about the balance between privacy and the useful exchange of information; where responsibility lies and who should take it; and the balance between Government and private individuals and private businesses. Those are not new or modern things, although the technology may be. They are things that should always drive and inspire the proper scrutiny of legislation and the proper business of Government, and this Committee has once again shown that.

I am delighted that the contributions from my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset have shown that even intellectuals add value. I am delighted, too, that my right hon. Friend the Member for East Yorkshire, with his recherché approach, has again made the case for all that is glorious about that which is vintage. His own vintage performances have delighted me and, I am sure, many others.

May I particularly thank the Opposition Members, as well as the Government Members, including members of the Select Committee on Transport, who know far more about these subjects than I do? I also thank my Parliamentary Private Secretary, my hon. Friend the Member for North Cornwall, and of course my former PPS, my hon. Friend the Member for Pendle, who is now my Whip. I particularly thank Opposition Members. For it is very easy in opposition to criticise and carp. It is very easy in opposition to critique a Bill in a way that is designed to be unhelpful rather than helpful. That has not been the case in this Committee. Opposition Members have sought to contribute in a positive, constructive and thoughtful way. I know it is much easier to be a Government Minister than a shadow Minister, because I have done that job, too, so I am extremely grateful to the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull East for the approach that he has adopted.

With those brief words—some will say all too brief—I thank everyone once again for making the Committee such a success.

Photo of Karl Turner Karl Turner Shadow Minister (Transport) 12:45 pm, 16th November 2017

Further to that point of order, Sir Edward. I thank you and Mr Bailey for chairing the Committee. I also thank the Clerks. Without their assistance, I would have struggled a great deal, having come to the brief relatively recently. I also thank the officials, who have been extremely supportive with my colleagues in my office and have helped a great deal, even by just having telephone conversations about certain amendments that we planned to table. I also thank the Minister for the discussions that we have had both privately and publicly on the issues that we have been debating.

Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Infrastructure and Energy)

Further to that point of order, Sir Edward. I, too, want to put on the record my thanks to you and Mr Bailey for chairing the Committee. I thank the Clerks for their assistance and helping with amendments. I realise that they had to be robust in terms of keeping to the guidelines of the Bill, and I appreciate the guidance that was given. I thank the Minister, who certainly seems to have listened and engaged. He has a good way of getting us to withdraw amendments with a mix of humour, appearing to listen, and a wee bit of flattery thrown in at the start just to keep us off guard. It has been an enjoyable process and I thank everyone involved.

On behalf of Mr Bailey, myself and the Clerks, I thank all Committee members for attending. I am thankful for the remarkably good nature of the debate, for the mellifluous tones of the Minister, and for the good nature of the Opposition spokesmen. Whether we will end up with Hayes hooks, Turner turnkeys or something that alliterates with Leigh, we do not know, but there have been some good moments. I look forward to one of Sir Greg’s old cars colliding with Sir Oliver’s 100-mile convoy. I thank you all. We have not deviated too far into the realms of Ruskin.

Bill to be reported, without amendment.

Committee rose.