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UK: Government publishes proposed amendments to the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill

On November 23, 2023, the Government published proposed amendments to the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill. In particular, the Government highlighted that the amendments are aimed at, among other things, improving data security, bolstering national security, and preventing fraud.

Access to bank account data

To help detect fraud, the Government highlighted that the proposed amendments would grant the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) power to perform regular checks on the bank accounts of benefit claimants. In order to safeguard privacy, the amendments would restrict access to bank account data to only essential information and in situations that suggest a potential for fraud or error.

Data preservation process

In cases where a child has died through suicide, the amendments propose a data preservation process that would require social media companies to retain any relevant personal data of the deceased child, which can then be used for investigations or inquests.

Biometric data

The amendments would allow the police to retain the biometrics of individuals who are considered a potential threat, with data provided by organizations like the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL). Under the amendments, the police would be able to keep biometric data for as long as an INTERPOL notice remains in effect. Additionally, the amendments propose that the biometrics of individuals with foreign convictions can be retained by the police indefinitely.

The Government noted that the amendments would be considered by the House of Commons at the report stage on November 29, 2023.

You can read the press release here and the proposed amendments here.