The Earl of Northesk
asked Her Majesty's Government:What are the implications of the delays experienced in drafting the Data Protection Commission's code of practice on e-mail monitoring. [HL389]
Lord Bassam of Brighton
The Data Protection Commissioner was re-named the Information Commissioner on 30 January 2001.The monitoring of e-mails is one of a number of matters covered by the commissioner's draft code of practice on the use of personal data in employer/employee relationships. The closing date for comments on the draft code was 5 January 2001. The commissioner tells me that she has received over a hundred responses. I understand that her office is now carefully considering these and may need to hold follow-up discussions in the light of some of them. I further understand that, although the commissioner had originally hoped to be in a position to finalise the code by the spring of 2001, the volume of responses received means that this may now take somewhat longer.When the code has been finalised it will provide comprehensive guidance on the application of the Data Protection Act 1998 in the workplace context. I have drawn the Commissioner's attention to the noble Earl's interest in the code. She intends to write to him about her plans for publication and related matters.