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The Data Protection Bill [HL] 2017-19 has a number of purposes:

  • it sets out how the UK would apply the derogations available under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – the GDPR will apply from 25 May 2018
  • it would bring the Law Enforcement Directive (LED) into UK law – the LED will apply from 6 May 2018
  • it would update the laws governing the processing of personal data by the intelligence services
  • it aims to ensure that the UK would be able to freely exchange data with the European Union post-Brexit

The Bill in the Lords

The Bill was originally introduced in the House of Lords on 13 September 2017 where it was broadly welcomed by the opposition parties. However, at Report stage, the Government was defeated on amendments relating to press regulation – i.e. on commencing part 2 of the Leveson inquiry and bringing section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 into force.

The Bill in the Commons

The Bill [Number 153] was introduced in the House of Commons on 18 January 2018. Much of the second reading debate on 5 March 2018 was taken up with the Lords amendments on press regulation.

Committee stage

The Bill had eight sittings in Public Bill Committee between 13 March and 22 March 2018. The Lords amendments on press regulation were overturned in Committee. Labour has said that it will try and put these back into the Bill at Report stage. The Bill’s provisions on immigration control have proved controversial but are still in the Bill after Labour and the SNP failed to get them removed. This Paper looks at these issues in further detail. It also looks at some of the other subjects on which the Committee divided or where there was lengthy debate. These included:

  • The representation of data subjects
  • Obtaining an adequacy decision from the European Commission so that the free flow of data between the UK and European Union would continue after Brexit
  • Automated decision making
  • Data sharing by the intelligence services
  • Exemptions to the applied GDPR scheme

The Bill [Number 190], as amended in Committee, has been published. A date for Report stage has yet to be announced.

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