back to article Muzzle our public watchdog much? UK.gov Data Protection Bill adds affect the ICO

The UK’s data protection watchdog has raised concerns with the government over new clauses slipped into the Data Protection Bill at the last minute, which critics say could undermine the law. The clauses, inserted at the Bill's final committee stage in the House of Lords last month, are likely to receive heavy scrutiny at next …

  1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Usual govt approach

    1. Law is ruled unlawful

    2. Propose new law that is lawful (just)

    3. Write sneaky last-minute amendment that effectively undoes all the changes

    4. Hope to pass it in Lords Committee

    5. Business as usual

    6. Result!

  2. JakeMS

    Wow

    Government exempts themselves from the law? Shocking!

    Absolutely saw that coming.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Gimp

      "Government exempts themselves from the law? Shocking!"

      And by "Government" you actually mean the cabal of data fetishist civil servants who instructed these clauses be drafted.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Ministry of Fun ... said the government had consulted the ICO about the preparation of the new clauses" but carried on anyway.

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      ISIRTA

      When The Register put such concerns to the Ministry of Fun, it said the government had consulted the ICO about the preparation of the new clauses.

      should have been

      When The Register put such concerns to the Ministry of Fun, it said the government had consulted ignored the ICO about the preparation of the new clauses.

  4. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    Either there are more and more of these cases of "government exempts itself from the law" coming through recently, or they have always been happening and I just didn't know about it...

    "I am the King PM, my word IS the law!"

  5. James 51 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Don't worry, the ECJ will save us...

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Very true. Which is why Chairman May is so determined that its influence should be removed.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Very true. Which is why Chairman May is so determined that its influence should be removed.,

        So maybe five years down the line we can look forward to some stiff disapproval and sniffs from the EU direction, followed by some attempt at sanctions from an EU nation who want the UK out of the running on some trade or other...?

        Twenty years or so on, when some rabid nutjob or nutjob party gets control due to the poorly thought out laws being enacted today, the UK will be the next North Korea....

        1. Beau

          Very true. Which is why Chairman May-----

          Just what makes you think, you'll have to wait twenty years?

  6. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Rule by dictat

    The whole bill is littered with terms and clauses that the "Secretary of State" may change at will, effectively functionally changing the bill at whim. This is not the kind of clauses in law that should underpin a democracy - more suited to a police state or dictatorship.

    1. Red Bren

      Re: Rule by dictat

      Once upon a time, one of the checks and balances on the government was the thought of what the opposition might do with these powers.

      In the light of

      - the Electoral Commission's vicious gumming of the Tories for their (two) general election overspending and polling telemarketing offences.

      - the Boundary Commission proposals to cut the number of MPs (which hits Labour hardest) while the number of (Conservative) peers has risen.

      - The number of (mainly Labour) voters that have "disappeared" after changes to the Electoral Roll.

      perhaps the Tories (or their backers) don't expect a change of government ever again?

  7. adam payne Silver badge

    Concerns are that, as it stands, the Bill grants the secretary of state broad powers to determine the content of the framework and who it applies to, while making it hard for the ICO to either challenge that content or even enforce data protection law.

    There should be no instance of a minister being able to change the framework on their every whim and change who that framework applies to.

    That isn't democracy!

  8. Prosthetic Conscience
    Big Brother

    Was there ever..

    "Peak freedom"? or in this day and age it's just simple to get access to information about government decisions and we're simply becoming more aware?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems crystal clear to me.

    'In sub-paragraph (5), for “the Data Protection Act 1998” substitute “the data protection legislation”. (3) After sub-paragraph (5) insert— “(6) In this paragraph, “the data protection legislation” has the same meaning as in the Data Protection Act 2017 (see section 2 of that Act).”

    (1) Paragraph 10A (attachment of earnings orders (Justice Act (NorthernIreland) 2016): disclosure of information) is amended as follows.

    (2) In sub-paragraph (7), for “the Data Protection Act 1998” substitute “the data protection legislation”.

    25 (3) In sub-paragraph (8), at the appropriate place insert— ““the data protection legislation” has the same meaning as in the Data Protection Act 2017 (see section 2 of that Act);”.'

    Data Protection Bill [HL] AS AMENDED IN COMMITTEE]

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