Skip to main content

Computer Data (Privacy)

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what bilateral arrangements exist between the United Kingdom and the United States of America to secure the privacy of computer data owned by UK nationals and stored via the internet on servers located within the United States. (95801)

The United Kingdom has no bilateral arrangements with the United States regarding the storage, via the internet, of computer data owned by UK nationals on servers located in the United States.

Where UK-based organisations transfer personal data outside the European Economic Area, they are required to make an assessment that adequate protection is in place for that data, via contractual or other arrangements. In the case of the USA, the European Commission has deemed that those US companies which are part of the "Safe Harbour" arrangements have adequate data protection for the purposes of complying with the 1995 Data Protection Directive.

Where individuals consent to the transfer of their personal data, there is no barrier to it being sent outside the UK. Individuals who directly purchase goods or services on-line need to be aware that there may not be the same level of data protection outside the EEA area and should consider the terms of any privacy policy operated by the vendor before they conduct a transaction.