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National Identity Register: Data Protection

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether a person who has consented to share across Government information held on her Department’s database will be able to withdraw the consent. (258115)

There is no single departmental database in the Home Office. If the Home Office is sharing personal information, including across Government, it needs to have a legal power to do so and it needs to be a lawful exercise of that power. The Home Office therefore needs to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 when sharing personal information.

While consent is one of a number of conditions that can be relied on for data sharing to be considered fair and lawful under that Act, it is not the only condition, therefore the sharing of personal information can take place without the individual’s consent. However, if consent is being relied on to enable the data sharing to take place, an individual has the right to withdraw that consent. If consent is withdrawn and there is no other basis for the sharing then it would stop.