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Farron welcomes manifesto commitment for Digital bill of Rights

April 13, 2015 12:31 PM

TF KendalTim and the Liberal Democrats have launched a public consultation on the planned Bill, which the party would introduce if they were to form a new coalition government after the election. Tim said the idea was born in South Lakeland and credited young people in our area for proposing the idea to him.

Tim joined with the then Cambridge MP Julian Huppert to propose the idea, firstly to their party conference and then ultimately to the parties upcoming manifesto.

You can have your say on what you think should be included in the Bill by completing our survey here: http://www.libdems.org.uk/digital-rights-bill

The Bill comes following a series of disturbing news reports ranging from thousands of NHS patients having their data sold off, and found to have breached data protection law by selling people's pension pot details.

It would also include prison sentences for public and private companies conducting large-scale data theft.

As technology has advanced, more and more people interact online. Whilst this has brought the UK enormous socio-economic benefits, it has also left people open to exploitation and misuse of their personal information by criminals, commercial interests, and public authorities.

The move to establish a Digital Bill of Rights follows years of attempts by Conservatives and Labour governments to erode the privacy and rights of citizens, businesses, and journalists as digital technology has evolved.

Key measures in the Digital Rights Bill include:

  • Prison sentences for companies conducting large-scale data theft and illegally selling on personal data
  • Beefed up powers for the Information Commissioner to fine and enforce disciplinary action on government bodies if they breach data protection laws
  • Legal rights to compensation for consumers when companies make people sign up online to deliberately misleading and illegible terms & conditions
  • Code of Practice for online services who would by law have to correct information about members of the public where it is inaccurate or defamatory
  • Enshrining in law the responsibility of government to defend the free press, including the rights of journalists and citizen journalists to express their views freely online
  • Prevent government from watering down cyber-security and encryption measures used by British business

Tim said: "Dealing with snooping and improving Digital Rights is vital. This is something I've had raised with me by young people in the South Lakes and I have taken the issue on and pushed it in within Parliament and outside for the last few years. This consultation is another step in turning this idea - discussed in Kendal, into law."