back to article Tories aim to ditch data protection laws

A Conservative government would tear up Britain's commitments on data protection and other regulations in a bid to create a more competitive economy. A wide-ranging policy review set to be published this Friday will make the recommendations, which were backed today by shadow chancellor George Osborne in an interview with the …


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  1. Paul


    They are attacking two laws (data protection & Working time) which need tightening, not relaxing? Fool. Especaly as the Working time directev just says "You are not to work more that 48 hours per week, unless you want to in which case go for it". It needs tightening as at the moment most people are signing out of it because of the impication most emploiers give that it is a requierment of the job.

  2. Les

    This confirms my theory

    The Conservative Party appears to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of New Labour plc. "Conservative" MPs are actually agents paid to come up with increasingly bonkers "ideas" which will ensure that under no circumstances will there be a change in government.

    Either that, or they've *really* lost what little plot they had...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Utter utter ...

    ... *bastards* !

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Also for the chop would be the UK's adherence to the Working Time Directive that imposes a 48-hour limit on the working week."

    hmm, so our overlords can work us to the bone again, bet they decide to scrap holiday pay for "temp" workers. You know the ones, that companies like International *ness Machines have, who work there for years and years.

    So basically the tories want to re-create a slave class again

  5. Bill Fresher

    Great Ideas.

    Make it easier for firms to screw over, under pay and over work the average person and create bigger profits for the rich. Excellent.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is the Monster Raving Loony Party being replaced?

    Lets get this straight, I hate labour! But the conservatives are screwed if they intend to push this type of crap on us.

    They're basically attacking the laws which provide up with privacy aswell as employment protection, and how exactly is that meant to convince people to vote for them?


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, there goes, another 5 years of Brown!

    Just as the Tories were beginning to look like a threat to the other right-wing party (i.e. Labour), they come up with these ideas.

    So everyone will be allowed to hold inaccurate data about me and pass it on to anyone else with no regard for my privacy. I will have NO recourse to get the data corrected, so I am in really big trouble is someone incorrectly records a court judgment against someone else in my file.

    Then my employer can just throw me out in the street because I will not work 100 hours per week

    Good one David! I am sure that will get the masses to get of their arses and waddle down to the polling station to vote LABOUR!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Devil and the deep blue

    So we either get ID cards or an ID free-for-all. Great. There were people I know, die-hard Lefties, considering voting Tory to stop ID cards. "I know," said George, "let's shoot ourselves in the foot."

  9. Gilbert Wham

    Dude, wait. What?

    "Right, so what we do is sell everyone's details to double-glazing firms, then force them all to work a 60-hour week." For realz? This is not going to get them elected is it? Of course, it's marginally less insane than the ID card boondoggle, which would do pretty much the same thing, but it really isn't going to help, is it now?

  10. Tom Wilkinson

    Hot buttons

    It's so obvious that diminishing personal privacy and letting people ('volunteer to') work for more than 48 hours a week is a certain vote-catcher.

  11. Gerrit Tijhof


    "Redundancy regulations should be relaxed, say the authors, to allow employers to make cuts more easily." And who is going to do all the work then? Poles, or Spaniards?! *chuckles*

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Red Tape

    Remember, when a politician says that he'll slash red tape, what he doesn't say is that he'll slash it _lengthways_.


    This should be... interesting.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slave drivers

    Sooo...The Tories want us to work longer and make it easier to sack us if we argue.

    On top of that make it harder to complain about big corporations who can freely flog our personal info around due to not having to adhere to any data laws.

    Sounds like a vote winner to me.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fabulous... you just lost my vote

    Scrapping data protection laws does NOT make this economy more competitive! It's bad enough that I have to fight organisations like Experian to prevent them from selling my information on. I'd be fighting a losing battle if the DPL was scrapped altogether.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    200 years of red tape...

    Let's face it, the bottom line seems to be that the Tories just want to bring back slavery, and about time too!

    I mean, how can a business be expected to be compete with the Germans if it has to pay wages to its workers, has to let them sleep, has to give them time off when they're sick (or even when they're not) and can't just sell them for dog food when they get old and useless. Damn red tape!

  16. Mark

    Data Protection and Government

    The Data protection laws have a side effect of preventing the government from leaking information about you. I will say the 1998 changes complicated a relatively clear and simple 1984 act.

    I thought the Tories had lightened up when David Cameron was elected, and was almost fooled into voting for them. Since then, not including the inopportune jaunt to Rwanda and indecisive education policy, he's also made pronouncements about extending copyright and now this, that makes me not want to touch him with a barge pole.

  17. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    About those ID cards...

    If all the data protection laws are scrapped, identity theft will be so easy that ID cards will be worthless. Cunning, but if you want to save UK plc a dozen billion or so, it would be easier just to scrap the ID cards.

  18. Andrew Baines Silver badge

    It's just John Redwood - calm down

    They've let John Redwood out of his box. Everyone knows he's a nutter. This is just to keep the Daily Mail happy for a couple of days, then Cameron can carry on as before.

    Time Mr Redwood fell under a bus, methinks.

  19. Paul

    Maybe it's a trick?

    I'm hoping they are just floating a fake policy, in the hope that Labour will nick it like they have nicked other Tory ideas. Please let it be a trick!

    The only relief for me is that, as a resident of Northern Ireland, I won't have to make the horrible choice of which set of lunatics I want running the asylum, since they can't be bothered to organise effecitively here (or in the case of NuLab, organise at all).

  20. Keith Turner

    It's just the Vulcan again

    I was wondering where the Vulcan had got to then he pops up on telly muttering something about saving billions.

    We could have saved more than that if his lot hadn't buggered about with the NHS to try and get it to run as some corporate firm.

    When the medical consultants matter less than the project consultants, there is something very wrong. (All Tony Blair did was carry on with the model established by the tories)

  21. Cameron Colley

    Where is the full discussion?

    All I see on the FT site is chopped up bits of what looks like a discussions about getting rid of _European_ red tape on data protection, not all data protection legislation.

    Is this story what it appears, or cleverly edited to make the statements appear more sweeping?

  22. adnim

    It's all been said

    Comments and observations are accurate and excellent!

    I actually find this unbelievable. It is not April 1st, is it?

    It is all about power and control. Oh to be a wholly state owned consumer slave.

    I wonder if compulsory RFID tagging by chip implant for all new born UK citizens will become law in my lifetime.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smoke screen

    Seems to me that these proposals are a classic smoke screen beloved by politicians. Want to get people to accept some unpalatable proposal? Here's how you do it:

    - put forward that proposal alongside a couple of others which are even more stupid (but which you have no real intention of implementing)

    - hold a "consultation process" during which you "discover" that your smoke screen proposals are really unpopular

    - being a sensitive political chap who "listens to the people" you decide to abandon those smoke-screen proposals (you remember, the ones you never intended anyway)

    - everyone is so relieved and joyous that they willing accept the rest of your policies, including stuff they'd never have gone for if put to them straight

    Classic Sir Humphrey.

    So. What else is in this document? What is it that they're *actually* trying to get us to agree to?

  24. Ian Chard

    Anything that makes them more unelectable...

    ...must be a good thing! Boris for Tory leader!

  25. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    RFID tagging of newborns

    "I wonder if compulsory RFID tagging by chip implant for all new born UK citizens will become law in my lifetime."

    Of course not. It will merely be made legal for parents to do so, and then the RFID vendors will launch a huge campaign to "educate" parents as to the "benefits" for their precious offspring. In future, the tag might not just be RFID, you could have audio recording and GPS, all wirelessly remoted back to, matching your child's behaviour against parent-chosen "profile" of acceptable behaviour. How could any loving parent resist?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Make it easier for firms to screw over, under pay and over work the average person and create bigger profits for the rich."

    Yeah, it does sound like the same party that gave us Thatcherism doesn't it?

  27. bobbles31

    How did we get here?

    Caught between revoked DPL and being worked like a dog, probably until you are 75 and then get a "pension" to allow you to eat dog food until you die.


    Tagged, Bagged, monitored, poked, prodded and badgered for the smallest of anti-social or "terrorist" transgressions (such as protesting against Heathrow expansion).

    Wow, I think in the next general election I will vote with my feet.....and emmigrate.

    I here that the French tend to get their own way on stuff.

  28. John Vaudin

    Needless Red Tape

    The Data Protection Act no doubt has its value, but there it also brings with it an awful lots of entirely pointless red tape. If I store customer's details, subject to certain conditions, I have to register with the Data Protection Registrar. But since I don't have to (can't) tell them WHO I'm storing information about, the register itself is rather pointless. As an individual I can't go to the registrar and ask them who has information on me, so the provision to allow me access to my personal information, to ensure its accuracy is in practice just tokenism.

    Of course for the register to act as some kind of global index into personal information would be impractical (and would involve the government creating some IT - which as we all know is impossible). So why not just admit that the register is pointless and scrap it. Save everyone a lot of time and money.


    Irresponsible or something worse!!

    A couple of harsh facts.

    I can not help but wonder how the Conservatives believe that reversing the obligations upon both the public and private sector is going to save £billions. According to the Information Commissioner the state of Data Protection and compliance with legislation is "awful" within the UK. So if we have barely any respect for Data Protection how can we save anything?

    Secondly, the conservatives should have had the sense to wait for Lord Broers report upon internet security, before passing judgement. Here he outlines that data protection and all round internet and information security in the UK is far from effective. The report confirms the relationship between future economic and social prosperity and security best practice. If people can not trust those responsible for gathering, storing, processing and accessing information in the future society and the economy will slow down.

    Thirdly, as a mere citizen, the only source of recompense I have for mis-management of information relating to me is the DPA. Take it away and I am left to the whims of fate and those who would gladly prfit from my details/information but rather not take any effective management and technical measures to secure my identity from misuse/abuse.

    Fourthly, businesses that complain about data protection should seriously ask themselves a personal question ... "How would they want information relating to them to be treated?"

    Finally .. I agree that the DPA is valueless red tape. Its value is based not upon the justifiable reason for having it in the first place, but rather upon the effectiveness of the legislation and its enforcement. What is the value in red tape which is so easily and readily avoided by both the public and private sector?

  30. ian

    Why not scrap data protection laws?

    It's not as if the ICO actually enforces them, so they might as well scrap them. Why spend the money on the ICO if it's not actually doing its job.

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