Questions in the House of Lords
2013-29-10 On cyberbullying
Lord Taylor of Warwick asked a question on government measures to tackle cyberbullying. Lord Nash answered by listing the current legislation: The Protection from Harassment Act 1972; The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994; The Malicious Communications Act 1984; The Communications Act 2003.
He added "The Government does not intend to introduce specific additional legislation to address the issue of cyberbullying (...)The Government has taken, however, steps that will help schools combat cyberbullying and is working with internet providers to address the wider issues."
2013-11-19 On integration of EU data protection regulations
Lord Taylor of Warwick has asked a question on the compatibility between UK and draft European legislation on Data protection. Minister of State for Justice, Lord McNally answered that both the UK and EU have carried out assessments on the impact of the laws. He said that the EU assessment was that it would reduce administrative costs caused by the current fragmentation of laws, totalling in €2.3 billion per annum. However, the UK Impact Assessment concluded that these benefits would be outweighed by the costs of creating new administrative and compliance measures required by the new regulation. The total was calculated to be somewhere between £100 million to £360 million per annum.
2013-11-19 On assessment of facial recognition and data protection
Lord Taylor of Warwick also asked a question on the balance between facial recognition for advertising purposes and personal privacy. He asked if the government had made an assessment of whether there were enough safeguards in place to ensure sufficient consent is given for the use of facial recognition.
This comes as Tesco announced at the start of the month that they would be introducing facial recognition technology across their petrol stations to target advertisement.
Minister of State for Justice, Lord McNally answered that no assessment had been made, but highlighted that facial recognition is covered under the Data Protection Act (DPA). He also said that the Ministry of Justice works closely with the Information Commissioner’s Office to ensure that public and private sector adhere to their responsibilities under the DPA.
2013-11-21 On regulation of self-harm websites
Lord Taylor's question was whether the government would regulate websites that encourage self-harming.
Lord Gardinger responded that the government uses a self-regulatory approach for the internet and expects the regulation to come from browsers. He also referred to the Prime minister's summit on Monday and the new family filters that will be offered by ISPs, which will be able to block suicide and self-harm websites.