Data Protection Act
The new bill currently progressing through the UK parliament has raised significant concerns within the human rights community. We’ve dissected the main components of the bill to provide a clear and straightforward explanation of its implications. Here’s what you need to know:
- Increased Police Powers to Access Data:
- What it Means: The police will have expanded authority to access personal data with the intent of apprehending individuals.
- Significance for Human Rights: Such expansive powers can risk privacy infringements. Without strict oversight and clear boundaries, there’s potential for misuse, which can endanger the right to privacy enshrined in numerous international human rights treaties.
- UK GDPR Changes via Statutory Instrument:
- What it Means: Future changes to the UK’s GDPR laws can be made using a statutory instrument, a type of delegated legislation.
- Significance for Parliamentary Protocol: Using statutory instruments means these changes can bypass the usual parliamentary scrutiny. For something as significant as data protection rights, this could lead to critical amendments being made without comprehensive debate or public consultation.
- Secretary of State’s Power to Amend Primary Legislation:
- What it Means: The Secretary of State can alter, repeal, or revoke provisions made by primary legislation using a statutory instrument.
- Significance for Parliamentary Protocol: This concentrates significant power in the hands of the Secretary of State, bypassing the usual legislative processes. It undermines the principles of parliamentary democracy where primary legislation, representing major law changes, should undergo thorough review and debate.
- Abolition of the Office of Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material:
- What it Means: The designated office responsible for overseeing the use and storage of biometric data (like fingerprints and DNA) will be eliminated.
- Significance for Human Rights: Biometric data is among the most personal data individuals possess. Without an overseeing body, there’s a heightened risk of misuse or overreach, potentially infringing on individuals’ rights to privacy and protection from unlawful surveillance.
- Abolition of CCTV Regulations:
- What it Means: The specific regulations governing the use of CCTV will be removed.
- Significance for Human Rights: With no clear regulations, there’s potential for unchecked surveillance. Unregulated use of CCTV can infringe upon the right to privacy, and without clear guidelines, there’s an increased risk of misuse or abuse.
Thankfully this Bill is only at report stage so it allows us time to lobby MP’s and ask them to propose or support amendments to get rid of these parts of the Bill. If this Bill passes as is they are paving the way towards a surveillance state!
Use the form below to email your MP and please do opt in to the campaign so that we can email the MP again on your behalf at all key moments in this Bill.
Email Your MP
The simple and most effective thing you can do is write to your MP along with all of your family and friends.
We’ve written a template email for you which you can read below and fill in the form below which will send it straight to your MP –
Data Protection Bill
GET THE WORD OUT ONLINE
One lone email to a single MP is very unlikely to enact change but when all the MPs receive thousands and thousands of them it lets them know that they have to act.
This cost of living crisis affects us all so we need to reach as many people as possible.