Government tables new amendments to Data Protection Bill

The government has tabled several amendments to the Data Protection Bill which received its second reading at the House of Commons on 5 March (see our report).

Clause 154 has been amended so that the Information Commissioner may also consider “distress” when assessing the “damage suffered by data subjects” and the resulting penalty.

Due to lobbying efforts from consumer groups, the Bill has been amended so that a review will be carried out at a later stage. The review will cover whether to allow not-for-profit bodies to represent individuals in collective actions seeking redress when an individual has not given consent to being represented. The government remains of the view that ‘the opt-in model is the right one and sufficient to allow not-for-profit bodies to represent individuals at the current time’. However, this amendment would allow for a review to be concluded in two and a half years’ time and provide powers to implement the outcome of that review (Clause 183, 207, Schedule 6 and new clauses).

The government will table further amendments on the latter parts of the Bill next week. The Committee stage at the House of Commons is scheduled to start on 13 March.

The Bill is expected to be adopted by 25 May when the EU GDPR takes effect. Join us for the debate and be informed of the latest developments on the new UK data protection regime at PL&B’s 31st Annual International Conference in Cambridge, 2-4 July. Speakers include representatives from the ICO and DCMS.