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Coroners and Justice Bill: Clause 152

My letter to my MP, Don Foster, regarding Clause 152 of the Coroners and Justice Bill.

Dear Don Foster,

I would like to draw your attention to Clause 152 of the Coroners and Justice
Bill. The Bill is currently in the committee phase. I am not very familiar with
reading legislation or interpreting it, but having read the clause, I would
summarise as follows.

The clause amends the Data Protection Act 1998 to allow ministers to break the
act (by sharing personal information) when it is "necessary to secure a
relevant policy" i.e. whenever they like. No restriction is placed on who the
information may be shared with, or for what purposes.

Part B, subsection (2) also allows for the creation of offences through the
issuing of information sharing orders… I don’t know how these things are
normally done, but that just doesn’t sound right.

I fear this is a "get out clause" for those who feel tied by the Data
Protection Act. It also seems to clear barriers to sharing of personal
information between government departments… but further places no restriction
on sharing with the private sector.

Yours sincerely,
Craig Loftus

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Posted on 03 Mar 2009

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