Government to consult on Leveson’s DP proposals

In a letter of 22 September to the chairman of Parliament's Home Affairs Committee, Keith Vaz, Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, says that there should be a public consultation about a data protection custodial penalty for breaches of S. 55 of the DP Act, yet to be brought into force under section 77 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (CJIA). Referring to the data protection recommendations in the Leveson report, Grayling says that ‘These recommendations could in particular have an impact on the conduct of responsible investigative journalism. The issues raised in the data protection elements of Lord Justice Leveson's report were not subject to the same level of public scrutiny as other elements of the inquiry. It is the government's view that the recommendations require careful consideration by a wide audience. We therefore intend to conduct a public consultation on the full range of data protection proposals, including on whether to introduce custodial sentences under section 77 of the CJIA.’

Grayling also writes;
‘You have asked for the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to be given more resource to carry out this investigation [MILLIPEDE, on rogue private investigators]. As you are aware, the ICO's investigation is still in its early stages and they are currently carrying out a scoping exercise to determine the extent of the work and the resources they will need. The ICO has so far not approached the Ministry of Justice on the matter of resourcing the investigation.

…we will continue to work with the Information Commissioner to monitor any resourcing issues that may arise as a result of this investigation and other funding pressures.’