ICO strengthens criticism of Government data sharing
The Government’s controversial plans to share personal data between departments and with the private sector are “too wide” and the safeguards “weak” according to privacy watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
When the Bill’s proposals were first published, the ICO was less critical.
“Some have suggested that the Bill’s information sharing provisions represent an unwarranted interference with the privacy of personal information. We do not agree. The provisions of the DPA will continue to apply to the sharing of personal information whether undertaken within the scope of an information order or otherwise,” said its opinion, published on 22 January.
The ICO now believes that the proposed new law poses some dangers to privacy and for Government’s accountability for the processing of personal data it has collected.
“The Bill’s information-sharing provisions are too wide, and its safeguards relatively weak,” it said. “The provisions should only apply in precisely defined circumstances where there is a legal barrier to information sharing that would be in the public interest.”
Rosemary Jay, a privacy law expert at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM, warned of similar concerns when the Bill was published.