UK Data Protection E-news - July 2010

  1. Government asks for views about DP laws
  2. Government publishes action timetable on rights and Freedom of Information

1. Government asks for views about DP laws

The Ministry of Justice announced, on 6 July, a call for evidence on the working of the European Union Data Protection Directive and the UK’s Data Protection Act 1998, and their impact on individuals and organisations.

The government wishes to get an informed view about the UK DP landscape before entering into negotiations about the new EU DP framework. This could involve either a new Directive or issuing regulations. The talks are expected to start in early 2011 and the process could be completed by 2013.

Speaking at PL&B’s 23rd Annual International Conference in Cambridge on 6 July, Peter Hustinx, the European Data Protection Supervisor, said that we can expect a Commission proposal in November or December this year, and that it is likely to involve a fundamental revision of the current EU Data Protection Directive.

The Call for Evidence lasts until 6 October 2010. The government is also seeking views on the impact of the Data Protection Act 1998.

There will be a report on Peter Hustinx’s presentation in the August issue of Privacy Laws & Business’s International Newsletter.

2. Government publishes action timetable on rights and Freedom of Information

The government has given some time estimates for its action on civil liberties. It intends to establish a Commission to investigate the creation of a UK Bill of Rights in 2011. It plans to amend the Freedom of Information Act by November 2011 to cover more organisations and support cross-government measures to provide greater transparency. The government intends to pass a Freedom Bill by November 2011. It also says it is ready to publish proposals for the storage of internet and e-mail records by November this year.

The draft structural reform plan is published this month. 

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