Skip to main content

Government: Data Transfer Protocols

Volume 698: debated on Monday 21 January 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the security arrangements and protocols for the transfer of sensitive or confidential data from government departments and agencies to Eurostat and other European Union organisations are adequate; and [HL778]

On how may occasions in the past five years sensitive or confidential data have been transferred from government departments or agencies to Eurostat or other European Union organisations by other than electronic means; and [HL779]

On how many occasions in the past five years sensitive or confidential data have been transferred from government departments or agencies to Eurostat or other European Union organisations in an unencrypted format. [HL780]

The Government use a secure infrastructure for transmission of data to European Union institutions—the TESTA EU Commission network—and the organisation of transfers using this network, or transmission of data by any other means, is the responsibility of individual departments, in accordance with a memorandum of understanding between the European Commission and the UK.

I also refer the noble Lord to the Statement made by my right honourable friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007 (Official Report, col. 1179). The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. On 17 December, the Cabinet Office published an interim progress report (Official Report, col. WS 69). Copies are available in the Library. A further report is expected in spring 2008.