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Data Protection and Digital Information (No.2) Bill: call for written evidence

18 April 2023

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Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Data Protection and Digital Information (No.2) Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament?

If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration.

The Public Bill Committee will scrutinise the Bill line by line. The first sitting of the Public Bill Committee is expected to be on Wednesday 10 May and the Committee is scheduled to report by Tuesday 13 June. However, please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Tuesday 13 June. You are strongly advised to submit your written evidence as soon as possible.

Aims of the Bill

The Bill has six parts and thirteen schedules:

  • Part 1 would make a number of changes to the existing UK data protection regime set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation. The changes would affect, among other things: the definition of personal data; the processing of data for “legitimate interests”; subject access requests; automated decision-making; scientific research; the obligations of data controllers and processors; international transfers of personal data; and intelligence service and national security processing.
  • Part 2 would regulate the provision of digital verification services through the creation of a trust framework, a register of providers, an information sharing gateway, and a trust mark.
  • Part 3 would allow data sharing to support the delivery of public services which benefit businesses or “undertakings” (eg those carrying on trade whether for profit or not for profit and bodies established for charitable purposes).
  • Part 4 would, among other things, increase fines for nuisance calls and texts under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). It would introduce a new opt-out model for cookies to reduce the need for users to click through consent banners on every website they visit. Part 4 would also:
    • update the way births and deaths are registered, moving from a paper-based system to an electronic register used by officials.
    • make it easier for elected representatives to process general personal data where necessary for the purposes of democratic engagement activities.
  • Part 5 would abolish the Information Commissioner’s Office and transfer its functions to an Information Commission. Part 5 would also make changes to the regulation and oversight of biometrics, CCTV, and the National DNA Database.
  • Part 6 contains final and procedural provisions relating to consequential amendments, powers for making regulations, interpretation, and the Bill’s commencement.

Territorial extent

Data protection is a reserved matter. The Bill’s reforms to the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR would extend to the whole of the UK, apart from one provision relating to the Information Commission’s seal, which does not extend to Scotland.

Other provisions in the Bill would require legislative consent motions from the devolved administrations – eg in relation to smart data. Annex A to the Explanatory Notes gives detailed information on the Bill’s territorial extent and application.

The following supporting material is available:

Follow the progress of the Data Protection and Digital Information (No.2) Bill

The Data Protection and Digital Information (No.2) Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 8 March 2023. A debate on Second Reading was held on 17 April 2023.

Oral evidence sessions are expected to be held on Wednesday 10 May.

Guidance on submitting written evidence

Deadline for written evidence submissions

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration and possibly reflect it in an amendment. The order in which amendments are taken in Committee will be available in due course under Selection of Amendments on the Bill documents pages. Once the Committee has dealt with an amendment it will not revisit it.

The first sitting of the Public Bill Committee is expected to be on Wednesday 10 May and the Committee is scheduled to report by Tuesday 13 June. However, please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Tuesday 13 June. You are strongly advised to submit your written evidence as soon as possible.

Your submission should be emailed to scrutiny@parliament.uk

Further guidance on submitting written evidence can be found here.

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