Helen Grant is the Conservative MP for Maidstone and the Weald. She is the Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice and for Women's and Equalities issues.
When asked by John Robertson MP whether she had considered a dashboard where internet users could check what personal data is held about them online, and whether a system would be designed whereby UK internet users would be able to withdraw all personal data held online, she replied:
- I have no plans to do so.
- Under the Data Protection Act 1998, individuals may already request their personal data from organisations, and have rights in certain circumstances to delete the personal data held on them. The European Commission has published a proposal for a new data protection regulation which aims to strengthen these rights. The concept of individuals obtaining a copy of the data which organisations hold about them has parallels with the UK's midata programme which encourages organisations to release data which they hold about customers back to them in a portable, electronic format. The Government have recently consulted on introducing a power to make this mandatory for specified sectors. In terms of having the right to have data deleted many respondents to the Government's Call for Evidence on the Commission's proposals argued that it was unfeasible for all personal data to be deleted where this has been made available online and replicated.
- Negotiations on the new EU proposals are ongoing and are expected to last well into 2013.
Written answer in response to question by Karen Lumley MP (28/11/2012).