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Law Society raises 'substantial concerns' over speed of Data Bill process

14 July 2014 | tagged News release

The speed at which emergency legislation letting telecoms companies retain customer information is set to be passed at Westminster raises substantial concerns, the Law Society of Scotland has said.

The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill is aimed at companies that provide telephone and internet connections, and outlines the legal obligations they will have to retain data on their customers, such as calls made, to whom and at what time.  The Bill, which does not include the content of such communications, will pass through all its parliamentary stages on Tuesday, 15 July.

Tim Musson, convener of the Law Society's Privacy Law Committee said: "The Bill will reinstate powers to the police which are based on legislation derived from a European Union Directive which the European Court of Justice has said  is invalid.  We have substantial concerns that this legislation is going through the UK Parliament at such a speed that it will not be subjected to the level of scrutiny that each parliamentary stage usually requires.

"In April, the European Court of Justice handed down a ruling that communications companies did not have to adhere to the 2006 Data Retention Directive, which states that they should keep data on their customers for between six months and two years.  This is an important ruling and the proposed legislation deserves the appropriate scrutiny in order to maintain public confidence.  There will certainly be many people asking how, if the EU Directive has been declared illegal, the new legislation can be legal."

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Louise Docherty louisedocherty@lawscot.org.uk 0131 476 8204, or

Val McEwan valmcewan@lawscot.org.uk on 0131 226 8884

Notes to Editors

The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill is going through all parliamentary stages on Tuesday 15 July.

14 July 2014

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