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Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, these amendments relate to the transfer of personal data to countries outside the European Economic Area.

The noble Viscount, Lord Astor, has explained the purpose of the amendments. Both in Committee and on Report he brought forward amendments to this same broad effect. We said then that the Bill as drafted fully allowed for a finding of "adequacy" in the circumstances about which the noble Viscount was concerned. But we fully recognised the importance which the noble Viscount attached to the issue underlying his amendments. On Report my noble friend Lord Williams of Mostyn therefore said that the Government would look carefully at the points raised by the noble Viscount to see whether any useful clarification could be made.

I should perhaps remind your Lordships that the proposition is that contracts in appropriate cases should be capable of contributing to a finding of adequacy for the purposes of Schedule 1. As my noble friend said at Report stage, we are happy to accept that proposition. We believe that the Bill as drafted already provides for that. But we have reflected on the noble Viscount's arguments as to the merits of further clarification. We have concluded that they are persuasive. I believe that the amendments he proposes would improve the Bill in the respects with which he is concerned and I am pleased to be able to tell the noble Viscount that the Government can accept them.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Viscount Astor moved Amendment No. 22:

Page 44, line 19, after ("territory") insert ("(whether generally or by arrangement in particular cases)").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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Schedule 2 [Conditions relevant for purposes of the first principle: processing of any personal data]:

Lord Norton moved Amendment No. 23:

Page 44, line 41, at end insert ("and has not withdrawn that consent").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, the amendment is a simple expansion on a right that has been implied in previous discussions. It relates to Clause 9, the right to prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress. If the data subject has given his consent, it has always been made clear that consent could be withdrawn, although it is by no means certain. My amendment is simple. It allows the data subject to withdraw that consent, and in that way have a right to prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress. I beg to move.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, this amendment arises, as the noble Lord said, out of our recent exchanges about the extent of the right to object to processing in Clause 9. But it raises questions about the giving of consent by data subjects, and the subsequent withdrawal of consent, which go wider than that.

When we looked at Clause 9 at Report stage, I was happy to confirm to the noble Lord the general rule that consent given under the first paragraph of Schedule 2 could be withdrawn at any time. That remains the case. I am not persuaded that putting it on the face of the Bill adds anything at all in this respect. If a data subject has withdrawn his consent then, as I say, from that point he cannot be taken to be giving his consent to the processing in question.

The issues of what properly constitutes consent and of when consent can be said to have been withdrawn are, as I may have observed to your Lordships before, matters of general law with which the courts are very used to dealing on a case by case basis. We think it preferable to rely on that general law rather than seek unnecessarily to prescribe special rules for the purposes of the Bill, which might well have a confusing effect. In those circumstances, I invite the noble Lord to withdraw the amendment.

Lord Norton: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply. In the circumstances, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Schedule 5 [The Data Protection Commissioner and the Data Protection Tribunal]:

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 24:

Page 49, line 13, leave out ("158") and insert ("159").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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Schedule 8 [Transitional relief]:

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 25:

Page 56, line 43, at end insert--

("Exemption from section 21

11A.--(1) During the first transitional period, all processing which was already under way immediately before 24th October 1998 is exempt from section 21.
(2) Where, on 24th October 2001, section 21 first applies to any processing which was already under way immediately before 24th October 1998, subsection (5) of that section shall have effect in relation to the processing with the omission of the words from "and either" onwards.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

5.15 p.m.

Schedule 12 [Transitional provisions and savings]:

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendments Nos. 26 to 32:

Page 62, line 26, leave out ("sub-paragraph (2)") and insert ("sub-paragraphs (3) and (3A)").
Page 62, line 30, leave out ("sections 16(1) and 21(5)") and insert ("section 16(1)").
Page 62, line 30, after second ("the") insert ("registration period or, if earlier, 24th October 2001.
(1A) In sub-paragraph (1) "the registration period" means the").
Page 62, line 42, at end insert--
("(3A) If a data controller gives a notification under section 17(1) at a time when he is exempt from section 16(1) by virtue of sub-paragraph (1), he shall cease to be so exempt.").
Page 63, leave out lines 1 to 10 and insert--
("(5) Notification regulations under Part III of this Act may make provision modifying the duty referred to in section 19(1) in its application to any person in respect of whom an entry in the register maintained under section 16 has been made under sub-paragraph (4).
(5B) If a person is exempt from section 16(1) by virtue of sub-paragraph (1), he is also exempt from section 21(5), except in relation to processing in respect of which he is obliged, under notification regulations made by virtue of section 19(1) or sub-paragraph (5), to give a notification to the Commissioner.").
Page 64, line 48, leave out (" 40") and insert (" 41").
Page 65, line 3, leave out (" 40") and insert (" 41").

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, I have spoken to the amendments already. With the leave of the House, I beg to move them en bloc.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

An amendment (privilege) made.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, I beg to move that the Bill do now pass.

My noble friend Lord Williams of Mostyn very much regrets that he is unable to be here this afternoon to make his concluding remarks on the Bill. Pressing government business has taken him overseas. He has, however, asked me to convey his own personal thanks for and appreciation of the constructive and courteous way, with the exception of this afternoon, in which noble Lords in all parts of the House have contributed to the debates that we have had on this Bill.

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It falls to me therefore to offer the Government's valedictory remarks. I do so with a great deal of pleasure, since I have thoroughly enjoyed the debates which we have had both in Grand Committee and in this Chamber. Like my noble friend, I am deeply appreciative of the positive spirit in which the debates have taken place.

Although its subject matter is, to some, rather dull, this Bill is very important. It gives effect to this country's obligations under European Community law. It provides important rights for individuals. It affects the vast majority of organisations, big and small, throughout the country. It is broad in its scope, technical in its substance, and intricate in its detail. Those are all reasons why this Bill needs detailed and careful consideration. I believe that in its passage through this House it has been given the careful attention it deserves, save in respect of the amendment this afternoon.

In his opening remarks on Second Reading, my noble friend Lord Williams of Mostyn made clear that the Government would approach the Bill in a non-partisan way, and be very receptive to suggestions for improvement, provided that they were consistent with the Government's overall approach. I hope that your Lordships will agree that the Government have indeed been open and responsive.

Important amendments, reflecting views expressed from all parts of the House, have been made to the Bill. There have been important changes to the provisions on individuals' rights in Part II; to the exemptions in Part IV and Schedule 7--although I recognise from our debate on Clause 28(4) there are clearly issues between us still on that.

As a result of the efforts made by this House, I believe that the Bill is now much improved. But I recognise that there are a number of points still outstanding, including Section 28(4).

A significant change made by this Bill is to introduce data protection controls over certain manual records. Defining which records are caught has proved to be very tricky. We have made some small changes in an attempt to clarify matters. But I know that some Members of the House still have reservations. This is an important definition and I certainly do not rule out the possibility that the Government might wish to return to it in another place.

I also regret that we have not been able to bring forward proposals for dealing with enforced subject access. As I said on Report, the issues are complex, and I am afraid that we still have not been able to resolve all the problems. Again, we shall come back to this at a later stage.

My noble friend Lord Williams of Mostyn also undertook on Report to deal in the Bill with the question of ethnic monitoring, in response to an amendment proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Dholakia. My noble friend said that he hoped we might be able to deal with the matter on Third Reading but stressed that time might be against us. I am afraid that that has proved to be the

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case. But I can assure the House that the Government will bring forward the necessary amendment in another place as soon as we can. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Bill do now pass. (Lord Falconer of Thoroton).

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