Data protection and privacy elements in the Queen’s speech

The government’s legislative agenda for the next session in Parliament includes several initiatives that have privacy implications.

The Conservative government has for some time been saying that it wants to repeal the Human Rights Act. The Queen’s speech yesterday promises a consultation on the issue. Plans for a UK Bill of Rights will be published in "due course".

The Digital Economy Bill would aim at the ‘protection for consumers from spam email and nuisance calls by ensuring consent is obtained for direct marketing.’

The Modern Transport Bill would allow driverless cars on to the roads and an operational spaceport. As reported in previous issues of PL&B Reports, driverless cars pose many privacy issues, such as data collection, retention and consent.

The Investigatory Powers Bill, on surveillance powers for the spy agencies and other government bodies to monitor people’s online communications when investigating crime or terrorism, is also included. This Bill has been carried over from Parliament’s last session.

The Queen’s speech does not include a new data protection instrument which is needed in the future to implement the recently adopted EU Data Protection Regulation.

The Minister responsible for data protection policy, Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG, will speak at Privacy Laws & Business 29th Annual International Conference on 4th July about ‘The EU Data Protection Regulation package – The UK government’s perspective’.