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Departmental Data Protection

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy for his Department to sign the Information Commissioner's Personal Information Promise. (258952)

The Government welcome the promise as a commendable initiative to raise awareness of the importance of effective data protection safeguards, particularly for those organisations with no similar commitments already in place.

The Government take data protection very seriously. Following the Cabinet Office review of data handling procedures in Government, departments have implemented a raft of measures to improve data security.

The Ministry of Justice is considering actively with the ICO how the promise might add additional value to those measures we have already signed up to. These include the information charters, the recommendations of the data handling review and the Thomas/Walport review and, of course, our legal obligations under the Data Protection Act and other legislation and regulations.