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Personal Records: Data Protection

Volume 470: debated on Monday 7 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department has taken to protect the personal data on members of the public which it holds. (171415)

I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179. The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. A statement on Departments' procedures will be made on completion of the review. An interim progress report on the review was published on 17 December by the Cabinet Office through a written ministerial statement, column 98WS.

The Ministry of Justice has procedures and guidance covering security, information security and data protection designed to identify and control the risk of the unauthorised release of personal data taking place. They include:

Ensuring our sites are physically secure and protected from unauthorised access;

Ensuring our employees are reliable through checks on background;

Providing guidance to staff on general security with separate guidance on IT security and data protection issues;

Procedures for assessing IT systems;

We also have systems for monitoring and checking compliance.

These policies and procedures extend to our contracted IT suppliers.