Police: Data Protection

Home Office written question – answered on 10th May 2019.

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Photo of Lord Scriven Lord Scriven Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the legality of police forces using "cyber kiosks", such as those recently bought by Police Scotland and which can override passwords to access data.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister for Equalities (Department for International Development)

Current legislation, principally provisions in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, allow data to be accessed from a mobile device when there are reasonable grounds to believe it contains evidence of an offence, but only then in adherence with data protection and human rights obligations.

Current guidance issued by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Crown Prosecution Service stresses that decisions to access mobile phones have to be made on a case-by-case basis, balancing reasonable lines of inquiry with the right to privacy. Mobile phones of complainants and witnesses may only be accessed with their informed consent.

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