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Departmental Databases

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 13 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether (a) companies based in the United States and (b) UK subsidiaries of US companies have been contracted by his Department and its agencies to provide services involving the use, storage, processing or analysis of databases of personal information held by the Government on UK citizens in the last five years. (188220)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), including its agencies, has engaged US registered service providers and subsidiaries of US registered service providers to manage aspects of the storage, processing or analysis of personal information.

The Data Protection Act 1998 includes provisions to ensure that personal data benefits from adequate protection when it is transferred outside the European economic area by UK data controllers, FCO guidance is designed to ensure that contracts are consistent with UK contract law with the applicable statutory safeguards.