Feeds

Government data review grants more data sharing power

Gets rid of pesky need for legislation and oversight

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Buried in the small print of the government's response to the Data Sharing Review is a line which grants the secretary of state power "to permit or require the sharing of personal information between particular specified persons, where a robust case for so doing exists."

Although the Information Commissioner, who wrote the report in "an independent capacity" (along with Dr Mark Walport from the Wellcome Trust), is likely to be granted some stronger powers and better funding the response also offers the government more power to over-ride existing data protection measures.

Lobby group No2ID said: "The key recommendation is 8(a), which proposes that whenever a department desires to use existing information for new purposes, ministers should have the power to make regulations to let it do so.

"They could set aside confidentiality and data-protection in the existing law or allow information that has been collected by government for one purpose to be used for a completely different one – without any new legislation or even a debate in parliament."

The response calls for primary legislation to provide the Secretary of State with a power by Order to remove or modify any legal barrier to data sharing by "repealing or amending other primary legislation, changing any other rule of law, creating a new power to share information where that power is currently absent".

The only caveat to this is that the minister should get the ICO's opinion before making such an order. The full report is available from here as an 80-page pdf.

A spokeswoman for the ICO told us that information transferred in this way will still be subject to the Data Protection Act.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Justice said the ICO opinion would be made in writing and would be available to both Houses and that draft Orders will also be supported by a Privacy Impact Assessment.

She added: "The power will be exercised only in circumstances where the sharing of the information is in the public interest and proportionate to the impact on any person adversely affected by it." So that's alright then. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.