Data protection

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    15.06.2016Trade unions: blacklisting
    This note sets out the background to the the Employment Relations Act 1999 (Blacklists) Regulations 2010, and discusses recent developments.
    25.04.2016Patient health records and confidentiality
    House of Commons Library briefing on patient health records and confidentiality.
    13.03.2015Interception of communications
    This Note looks at past and present law, the role of the Interception of Communications Commissioner in overseeing the present regime and recent developments in this area.
    16.09.2014The "right to be forgotten"
    In May 2014 the European Court of Justice ruled that a user had the right to have links to web pages about him removed from Google's search results because the passage of time had made them 'irrelevant'. This Note examines what the judgment means for search engines, for individuals and for the UK.
    This note provides information about the introduction of the NHS system and the use of patients' data for research, and about how patients' can opt out of having information from their medical records shared through this system.
    21.06.2013The draft EU data protection framework
    The UK's data protection law is based on a 1995 European Directive. The European Commission believes that the Directive is now out of date and has therefore proposed a comprehensive reform of the 1995 rules to strengthen online privacy rights and boost Europe's digital economy. Aspects of the reform are controversial and negotiations continue at European level to find agreement.
    07.01.2013Data Protection: Access to personal information
    The Data Protection Act 1998 regulates the use of personal information held on computer and, in some cases, in manual form by both the public and the private sector throughout the United Kingdom. The Act gives individuals the right of access to personal data which is being held on them. There are various other rights under the Act. The Act is enforced by the Information Commissioner (formerly the Data Protection Registrar).
    01.11.2012Data Protection: Constituency Casework
    Following the implementation of the Data Protection Act 1998 a number of MPs reported difficulties in carrying out their constituency duties. This note explains the difficulties that arose and describes the functions of the Statutory Instrument designed to resolve these difficulties.
    18.05.2012Internet surveillance
    This note looks at the history of the two programmes, cites the justifications given by successive governments for what critics have dubbed a 'snooper's charter' and details some of the objections that have been raised against surveillance of this sort.
    28.06.2011Protection of Freedoms Bill: Committee Stage Report Bill 189 of 2010-11
    This is a report on the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Protection of Freedoms Bill. It complements Research Paper 11/20 prepared for the Commons Second Reading.

    Lords Library Notes

    08.01.2016Identity Cards in the UK
    This Lords Library briefing provides background information ahead of the debate in the House of Lords scheduled for 14 January 2016 on the "potential use of identity documentation in dealing with the challenges of assuring the identity of individuals". It does this through a short chronology of the history of ID cards in the UK over the last century. It then provides more information about two key pieces of legislation: the Identity Cards Act 2006 and the Identity Documentation Act 2010.
    03.11.2011Protection of Freedoms Bill (HL Bill 99 of 2010-12)
    This Library Note provides background information in advance of the Protection of Freedoms Bill's second reading in the House of Lords.
    14.10.2010Identity Documents Bill (HL Bill 19 of 2010-11). LLN 2010/024
    Identity Documents Bill. House of Lords Library Note 2010/024


    09.03.2015The darknet and online anonymity
    A very small proportion of websites use sophisticated anonymity systems, which allow their operators to conceal their identity if they wish to. This part of the web is commonly referred to as the darknet. The darknet helps citizens to protect their security and privacy and to circumvent censorship. It also facilitate organised crime, such as the billion dollar drug market known as Silk Road. This POSTnote discusses the challenge of preventing such crimes without compromising the other uses of anonymity technologies.
    08.08.2014Big and Open Data in Transport
    This POSTnote examines key factors affecting the growth of big data in transport and current and future applications, focusing on road and public transport. It also explores challenges to opening up, collecting, disseminating and using big data, and to sharing data whilst protecting users' privacy.
    15.07.2014Big Data and Business
    POSTnote exploring how big data is being used by UK companies and the challenges and opportunities it presents.
    15.07.2014Big Data Overview
    This POSTnote gives an overview of big data.
    10.07.2014Big Data, Crime and Security
    This POSTnote examines the use of large and varied data in three key areas: crime prevention, crime detection and national security. It also covers regulatory issues and public perception about privacy, civil liberties and social benefits.
    05.03.2014Social Media and Big Data
    This POSTnote examines the application of 'big data' approaches to social media in three key areas: elections and polling, commercial applications and security. It also covers the regulation of social media data and public concerns around privacy.

    Select Committee Reports

    21.12.2010A surveillance society?.
    Government response. Information Commissioner; Home Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
    31.03.2010Leaks and Whistleblowing in Whitehall.
    Government response. Cabinet Office; Public Administration Select Committee report [Commons]
    16.07.2009Leaks and whistleblowing in Whitehall.
    Public Administration Select Committee report [Commons]

    Early Day Motions

    That this House is concerned by Hewlett Packard's (HP) application to offshore up to 200 jobs, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Lytham and Sheffield, working on the Adams 2 contract with the ...
    That this House notes that the Order that amended the Data Protection Act 1998 which came into force on 17 December 2002 removed the Act's restrictions on the disclosures of sensitive ...
    17.11.2010STUART SYVRET
    That this House is shocked at the decision of the Jersey Courts to imprison erstwhile Senator Stuart Syvret for 10 weeks following his being found guilty of data protection offences; ...
    That this House believes that Government data should be published in a machine readable open standards format and that data should be released using a Creative Commons interoperable ...
    That this House regrets that many police forces fail to recognise the importance of a journalist's right to protect his or her sources; believes that the protection of confidential ...


    • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
    • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
    • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
    • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses