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Data Protection and Digital Information Bill has second reading in the Lords

20 December 2023

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Members of the House of Lords discussed the primary purpose and key principles of the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill during its second reading on Tuesday 19 December.

The Data Protection and Digital Information Bill aims to update and simplify the UK’s data protection framework. 

The bill contains provisions to reform the Information Commissioner. It would also enable the creation of 'data bridges' with other countries, enable law enforcement to hold biometric data from other countries for longer, create an electronic register of births and deaths, and allow Ofcom to require social media companies to retain information in connection with an investigation by a coroner into the death of a child who was suspected to have died by suicide.

The bill will also update the provisions of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) to increase fines for nuisance calls as well as reduce 'user consent' pop-ups and banners. Changes introduced in the House of Commons also include requiring banks and financial institutions to provide data about accounts linked to benefit claimants. See full details in the House of Lords Library briefing.

Debate on the draft law

During second reading, members debated the main issues raised by the bill and drew attention to concerns and specific areas where they believe amendments (changes) will be needed.

Members discussed topics including:

  • protections for individuals using AI systems 
  • automated decision making in the workplace
  • gaps between UK and EU data protection. 

Members speaking 

Viscount Camrose (Conservative), Minister for AI and Intellectual Property, opened the debate and responded on behalf of the government.

Members contributing to the discussion included:

  • Lord Allan of Hallam (Liberal Democrat), former director of policy for Europe at Facebook
  • Baroness Kidron (Crossbench), Data Protection Foundation board member, campaigner for online safety and film director
  • Lord Sikka (Labour), Professor of Accounting at the University of Essex
  • Lord Holmes of Richmond (Conservative), Equality and Human Rights Commission member.

Get involved 

Watch and read the debate

Explore further information

Find out more about the issues to be discussed in the House of Lords Library Data Protection and Digital Information Bill briefing.

Next steps

Committee stage, the first chance for line by line examination of the bill, is e scheduled to begin on 20 March.

Image: Adobe Stock

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