Helen Grant MP

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.


Data Collection

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.[1]

Data Protection

Written answer in response to question by Karen Lumley MP (28/11/2012).

The Government has made no such assessment. However, it is worth drawing attention to the investigation by the Commission Nationale de I’informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) into Google's privacy policy on behalf of the Article 29 Working Party. The Article 29 Working Party is made up of a representative from the data protection authority of each EU member state, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the European Commission. The representative for the UK is the Information Commissioner (currently the Vice Chair of the Working Party), the independent regulator of the Data Protection Act 1998. The CNIL has investigated and suggested a number of changes for Google to put in place within a strict timescale. The Information Commissioner will wait for the CNIL's assessment of those changes before considering any enforcement action.[2]