Feeds

Government data review grants more data sharing power

Gets rid of pesky need for legislation and oversight

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.