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National Identity Register: Data Protection

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether requests from other Departments for information held on the National Identity Register will be restricted to requests for confirmation or denial of data held. (258109)

The information that is provided to other Government Departments from the National Identity Register will vary depending on the purpose for which the Department makes the request. The majority of requests will be to confirm the validity of data held by the Department. In limited cases however, further information may be provided, such as in the prevention and detection of crime.

All requests will be subject to the strict regulations laid out in the Identity Cards Act and forthcoming secondary legislation. Furthermore, all disclosures will comply with the Data Protection and Human Rights Acts.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what forms of access control her Department proposes to use to keep data on the National Identity Register gathered from the information systems of other Departments separate. (258112)

The information that will be held on the National Identity Register will be collected during the application process. It will not be made up of an amalgam of existing Government data.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Identity and Passport Service plans to take to shield information for which it is responsible following delivery to systems held by other Departments. (258116)

Before an organisation may be provided with information from the National Identity Register it will undergo an accreditation process which will include ensuring there is a legitimate business need for the information and that the organisation will be responsible for ensuring that information it is provided with is handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

In addition, under the Identity Cards Act, it will be a criminal offence to make any unauthorised disclosure of information from the National Identity Register. Accreditation may be withdrawn if an organisation fails to comply with any requirements to look after the information and the National Identity Scheme Commissioner will provide independent oversight of the provision of information.