Friday, 18 September 2009


Having been very involved with this year’s National Convention for Modern Liberty I am very pleased that we as a party are making clear commitments to bring back our freedoms that have been eroded over so many years.

Mr Grieve, the leading civil libertarian in the shadow cabinet, summarises his approach thus:

"This Government's approach to our personal privacy is the worst of all worlds - intrusive, ineffective and enormously expensive. We cannot run government robotically. We cannot protect the public through automated systems. And we cannot eliminate the need for human judgment calls on risk, whether to children, or from criminal and terrorist threats.

"As we have seen time and time again, over-reliance on the database state is a poor substitute for the human judgment and care essential to the delivery of frontline public services. Labour's surveillance state has exposed the public to greater - not less - risk."
In his speech he committed to:

Scrapping the National Identity Register and ContactPoint database.

Establishing clear principles for the use and retention of DNA on the National DNA Database,
including ending the permanent or prolonged retention of innocent people's DNA.

Restricting and restraining local council access to personal communications data.

Reviewing protection of personal privacy from the surveillance state as part of a British Bill of Rights.

Strengthening the audit powers and independence of the Information Commissioner.
Requiring Privacy Impact Assessments on any proposals for new legislation or other measures that involve data collection.

Requiring new powers of data-sharing to be introduced into law by primary legislation, not by order.

Appointing a Minister and senior civil servant (at Director General level) in each Government ministry with responsibility for departmental operational data security.

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