Skip to main content

Data Protection

Volume 547: debated on Thursday 28 June 2012

My noble Friend the Minster of State, Ministry of Justice, Lord McNally, has made the following written ministerial statement:

Today, I will publish the Government’s summary of responses to their call for evidence on the European Commission’s new proposals for data protection.

On 25 January 2012, the European Commission published a draft data protection directive (covering the police and judicial sector) and a draft data protection regulation (mainly impacting on individuals, business, the public sector and charities). The Government’s call for evidence, which was launched on 7 February and concluded on 6 March 2012 sought evidence on the potential impact on the UK of both the proposed regulation and the proposed directive.

Some143 responses were received from across the public, private and third sectors, consumer groups and members of the public. In addition to inviting written responses to the call for evidence, officials from the Ministry of Justice took part in a series of bilateral discussions and roundtables to hear views from industry and rights groups.

Broadly, respondents to the call for evidence welcomed the opportunity for a revision of the current data protection framework. Rights groups and members of the general public welcomed the strengthening of individuals’ rights and greater transparency in the processing of personal data. However, businesses and some public sector organisations expressed their concerns about the additional burdens and unintended consequence stemming from the proposed regulation. The evidence received will help to inform the UK’s position for the ongoing negotiations of the EU data protection instruments.

At the same time as publishing this summary of responses, the Government will publish their impacts checklist of the proposed data protection instruments. Primarily, the checklists aim to assess the costs and benefits the proposed instruments could generate.

Negotiations are expected to continue at EU level until 2014, when the Government’s aim is to secure a data protection framework that is proportionate, and that minimises the burdens on businesses and other organisations, while giving individuals real protection in how their personal data are processed.

Copies of the summary of responses to the call for evidence and the impacts checklists will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and on the Department’s website at: