Clause 5 - Third party bulk personal datasets

Part of Investigatory Powers (Amendment) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 12:30 pm ar 7 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Scottish National Party, Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East 12:30, 7 Mawrth 2024

I fully understand the questions that have been proposed by the shadow Minister, and it will be interesting to hear the answers that he gets.

On clause 5, it makes sense to ensure that access to third-party bulk personal datasets is subject to the general Investigative Powers Act scheme and oversight regime, including the double lock. Of course, we had extensive debates back in 2016 on whether that double lock was strong enough. My party argued that the judicial review standard was not tough enough and that we should be asking judicial commissioners to look at the positions again on their merits. But we lost that battle, and we are where we are.

Some of these datasets will include hugely personal information on internet searches and shopping history. These profiles can build up a pretty intrusive picture of how we go about our lives, and sometimes not very accurately. We are also talking expressly about personal datasets, which could include health data. That is on the face of the Bill. Does the Minister envisage that such access will be used only to make inquiries on subjects of particular interest, or will it be used for broader trawls of information?

As set out in the letter from the Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, there is also concern about how this provision will apply to datasets that have been obtained unlawfully. Should there be additional safeguards on the use of illegally obtained data? What is the Government’s thinking on that?