HL Deb 02 November 1998 vol 594 cc29-30WA
Baroness Goudie

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they expect to bring the Data Protection Act 1998 into force. [HL3570]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn)

We hope to do so in the second quarter of next year.

The Data Protection Act 1998 received Royal Assent on 16 July, but substantial subordinate legislation will also be needed. We issued two consultation papers about this in August. There were more than 100 responses, which we are currently considering. We will announce a firm target date for implementation as soon as we can.

Meanwhile, users of automated personal data must continue to comply with the present Data Protection Act 1984. This includes registering new processing operations and applying for renewals when existing registrations expire.

When the new Act comes into force processing operations which were already under way by 23 October 1998 will become subject to the transitional regime, which for automated data will end on 23 October 2001.

New processing operations which had begun on or after 24 October this year will become subject to the new regime as soon as it is brought into force. The Data Protection Registrar has sent me a copy of the introductory guide to the Act which she has just issued and which covers these matters. I shall place a copy in the Library of the House.