The UK Ministry of Justice has issued a Call for Evidence on the effectiveness of current data protection legislation in the UK. Responses must be submitted by October 6, 2010. “It will give the [UK] Government a solid evidence base to use in negotiations with other European Union parties. I believe we have everything to gain from a sensible, proportionate and rights-based data protection framework, and one that works for you as businesses, service-providers and citizens,” said Minister of State for Justice, Lord McNally.
The UK Government’s Call for Evidence asks organizations to outline their views on the impact of data protection legislation in the UK and whether or not the Information Commissioner’s Office has sufficient powers to deal with serious violations of the UK Data Protection Act. The purpose of the Call for Evidence is to help the Government formulate a stance to put forward when negotiations commence with Brussels in early 2011 on the likely reform of EU data protection laws. Lord McNally continued, “we want to gather evidence and views on whether the current data protection laws are working in light of social and technological changes since the mid-1990s. As individuals, citizens and consumers, we have the right to know our data is properly protected, and the Government is keen to gather evidence about how helpful the existing legislation is, as well as ideas on how the current data protection regime can be improved.”
Over the summer, Hunton & Williams and Acxiom will be working together to host a discussion meeting of interested parties in London, and to produce a draft submission for the Ministry of Justice. Richard Thomas CBE, the former UK Information Commissioner and Global Strategy Advisor to the Centre for Policy Leadership at Hunton & Williams, together with a representative from the Ministry of Justice, will participate in the discussions.