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Data Protection

Volume 130: debated on Thursday 31 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many subject access requests under the terms of the Data Protection Act the Metropolitan police and police national computer unit have received; what were the anticipated number of requests; and whether he is reconsidering the subject access fee charged by the police as a result; and whether he will make a statement.

I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that from 11 November 1987 to 24 March 1988, the Metropolitan police have received subject access requests under the Data Protection Act 1984, as follows:

i. for disclosure from the police national computer34
ii. for disclosure from data registered in common on the police national computer and on force systems45
iii. for disclosure from Metropolitan police systems only10
The Metropolitan police had anticipated some 4,000 applications per annum.Over the same period, the subject access office of the National Identification Bureau, which deals with requests for access to data on the police national computer, has received 404.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will provide information to the Data Protection Registrar in a way that does not compromise national security, on the number, scope and extent of the certificates that he has signed under section 27 of the Data Protection Act.

Such arrangements are not required by the Data Protection Act and would not be in the interest of national security.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the benefits for the public of the code of practice covering personal data used for police purposes.

The public benefit from the procedures set out in the code of practice since they seek to ensure that personal data held on police computer systems are properly obtained, maintained and secured in all forces, and comply with the data protection principles laid down in the Data Protection Act 1984.