The Guardian reports (Straw bows to pressure over data sharing) that the Government’s controversial plans to permit government agencies to correlate and combine data held on citizens have been withdrawn. I previously reported on clause 152 in the otherwise innocuous sounding Coroners and Justice Bill Part 8 – Data Protection Act 1998 (c. 29) (The UK database state comes a step closer…). Now it seems that privacy campaigners have had an effect:
Jack Straw last night scrapped controversial government proposals that could have allowed patients’ medical and DNA records to be shared with police, foreign governments and other bodies.
In a victory for civil liberties campaigners, the justice secretary bowed to public pressure over the data-sharing provisions in the forthcoming coroners’ bill, which would have allowed public bodies to exchange data without the knowledge or consent of individuals involved. Doctors and the Bar Council had joined privacy campaigners in warning of the potential risks to public trust.
Good news all round. It’s a pity the Home Secretary doesn’t behave in the same way over the Interception Modernisation programme.