DP Bill amendments on data processing for safeguarding purposes

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DP Bill amendments on data processing for safeguarding purposes


The House of Commons Public Bill Committee yesterday adopted government amendments that introduce new measures for processing personal data for safeguarding purposes.

Victoria Atkins MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the Home Department said: “This is probably the most important new measure that we intend to introduce to the Data Protection Bill. The amendments will ensure that sensitive data can be processed without consent in certain circumstances for legitimate safeguarding activities that are in the substantial public interest. We have been working across government and with stakeholders in the voluntary and private sectors to ensure that the amendments are fit for purpose and cover the safeguarding activities expected of organisations responsible for children and vulnerable adults.”

Amendment 85 covers processing that is necessary for protecting children and vulnerable adults from neglect or physical or mental harm. This addresses the gap in relation to expectations, for example, on sports governing bodies. The amendment permits the processing of sensitive personal data, which is necessary to safeguard children from physical, emotional, sexual and neglect-based abuse.

Amendment 86 deals with a related issue where processing health data is necessary to protect an individual’s economic wellbeing, where that individual has been identified as an individual at economic risk. For example, banks occasionally need to record health data without the consent of the data subject. An example was given of a bank which was contacted by a family member who was alerting the bank to an elderly customer suffering from mental health problems who was drawing large sums of money each day from their bank account and giving it away.

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Read more about the Bill developments in the March edition of PL&B UK Report, to be published on 16 March.

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