Digital Economy Bill (HL Bill 102)

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(a) a specified public authority (see section 19AB), or

(b) any other civil registration official.

(2) A civil registration official may disclose information under this section
only if the official is satisfied that the authority or civil registration
5official to whom it is disclosed (the “recipient”) requires the
information to enable the recipient to exercise one or more of the
recipient’s functions.

(3) A disclosure under this section does not breach any obligation of
confidence owed by the civil registration official making the disclosure.

(4) 10The power to disclose information under this section is subject to any
express restriction on disclosure imposed by another enactment
(ignoring any restriction which allows disclosure if authorised by an
enactment).

(5) This section does not limit the circumstances in which information may
15be disclosed apart from this section.

(6) “Civil registration official” means—

(a) the Registrar General;

(b) a superintendent registrar of births, deaths and marriages;

(c) a registrar of births and deaths;

(d) 20a registrar of marriages;

(e) each of the following in its capacity as a registration authority
within the meaning of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of the Civil
Partnership Act 2004 (see section 28 of that Act)—

(i) a county council in England;

(ii) 25the council of any district in England comprised in an
area for which there is no county council;

(iii) a London borough council;

(iv) the Common Council of the City of London;

(v) the Council of the Isles of Scilly;

(vi) 30a county council in Wales;

(vii) a county borough council in Wales.

19AB Specified public authorities

(1) Each of the following public authorities is a “specified public authority”
for the purposes of section 19AA—

(a) 35a Minister of the Crown;

(b) the Welsh Government;

(c) a department of the government of the United Kingdom;

(d) the Greater London Authority;

(e) a county council in England;

(f) 40a district council in England;

(g) a London borough council;

(h) the Common Council of the City of London in its capacity as a
local authority;

(i) the Council of the Isles of Scilly;

(j) 45a county council in Wales;

(k) a county borough council in Wales;

Digital Economy BillPage 41

(l) an NHS body within the meaning of the National Health
Service Act 2006 (see section 275 of that Act).

(2) The Minister may by regulations amend subsection (1) so as to add,
modify or remove a reference to a public authority or description of
5public authority.

(3) Regulations under this section must be made by statutory instrument.

(4) Regulations under this section may—

(a) make different provision for different purposes;

(b) contain consequential, incidental, supplemental, transitional or
10transitory provision or savings.

(5) The provision that may be made by virtue of subsection (4)(b) includes
provision amending, repealing or revoking any provision of any
enactment.

(6) A statutory instrument containing regulations under this section may
15not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and
approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(7) In this section—

  • “enactment” includes an enactment contained in subordinate
    legislation within the meaning of the Interpretation Act 1978;

  • 20“public authority” means a person who exercises functions of a
    public nature.

19AC Code of practice

(1) The Registrar General must issue a code of practice about the disclosure
of information under section 19AA.

(2) 25The code of practice must be consistent with the code of practice issued
under section 52B (data-sharing code) of the Data Protection Act 1998
(as altered or replaced from time to time).

(3) A civil registration official must have regard to the code of practice in
disclosing information under section 19AA.

(4) 30The Registrar General may from time to time revise and re-issue the
code of practice.

(5) Before issuing or revising the code of practice the Registrar General
must consult—

(a) the Minister,

(b) 35the Information Commissioner, and

(c) such other persons as the Registrar General thinks fit.

(6) As soon as reasonably practicable after issuing or reissuing the code of
practice the Registrar General must arrange for a copy of it to be laid
before Parliament.”

(3) 40In section 19B (fees in respect of provision of copies of records etc)—

(a) after subsection (1) insert—

(1A) The Minister may by regulations provide for fees to be payable
to a civil registration official in respect of the disclosure by the
official of information under section 19AA.”,

Digital Economy BillPage 42

(b) in subsections (2) and (3), for “The regulations” substitute “Regulations
under this section”, and

(c) in the heading, omit “in respect of provision of copies of records etc”.

(4) In section 21(1) (interpretation), after “respectively—” insert—

  • 5““civil registration official” has the meaning given by section
    19AA;”.

43 Consequential provision

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make the provision in subsection (2)
in consequence of any provision made by section 42.

(2) 10The provision mentioned in subsection (1) is provision amending, repealing or
revoking any provision of any enactment passed or made before or in the same
Session as this Act.

(3) Regulations under this section must be made by statutory instrument.

(4) Regulations under this section may—

(a) 15make different provision for different purposes;

(b) contain transitional or transitory provision or savings.

(5) A statutory instrument containing regulations under this section which amend
or repeal an Act may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid
before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(6) 20A statutory instrument containing any other regulations under this section is
subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of
Parliament.

(7) In this section “enactment” includes an enactment contained in subordinate
legislation within the meaning of the Interpretation Act 1978.

25CHAPTER 3 Debt owed to the public sector

44 Disclosure of information to reduce debt owed to the public sector

(1) A specified person may disclose information held by the person in connection
with any of the person’s functions to another specified person for the purposes
30of the taking of action in connection with debt owed to a specified person or to
the Crown.

(2) For the purposes of this section debt is owed to a specified person or to the
Crown if—

(a) a person is required to pay a sum of money to a specified person or to
35the Crown, and

(b) all or part of that sum remains unpaid after the date on which, or after
the end of the period within which, it is required to be paid.

(3) The reference in subsection (1) to taking action in connection with debt owed
to a specified person or to the Crown includes—

(a) 40identifying debt of that kind;

(b) collecting debt of that kind;

Digital Economy BillPage 43

(c) bringing civil proceedings as a result of debt of that kind;

(d) taking administrative action as a result of debt of that kind.

(4) In this Chapter “specified person” means a person specified, or of a description
specified, in regulations made by the appropriate national authority.

(5) 5A person specified in regulations under subsection (4) must be—

(a) a public authority, or

(b) a person providing services to a public authority.

(6) In the case of a person (“P”) who is a specified person merely because of
providing services to a public authority, the reference in subsection (1) to the
10functions of a specified person is limited to the functions P exercises for that
purpose.

(7) In determining whether to make regulations under subsection (4) in relation to
a person or description of person the appropriate national authority must have
regard, in particular, to—

(a) 15the systems and procedures for the secure handling of information by
that person or persons of that description, and

(b) in the case of regulations which amend or revoke previous regulations
so that the person ceases to be a specified person, whether that person,
or any person providing services to that person, has had regard to the
20code of practice under section 48 as required by that section.

(8) Before making regulations under subsection (4) the appropriate national
authority must consult—

(a) the Information Commissioner,

(b) the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs,

(c) 25each other person who is the appropriate national authority in relation
to regulations under subsection (4),

(d) where the appropriate national authority is not the relevant Minister,
the Minister for the Cabinet Office, and

(e) such other persons as the appropriate national authority thinks
30appropriate.

(9) The fact that this section was not in force when consultation of the kind
mentioned in subsection (8) took place is to be disregarded in determining
whether there has been compliance with that subsection.

45 Further provisions about power in section 44

(1) 35Personal information disclosed under section 44 may only be used by the
person to whom it is disclosed for the purposes for which it was disclosed,
subject to subsection (2).

(2) Subsection (1) does not prevent the use of information by a person—

(a) if the information has already lawfully been made available to the
40public,

(b) if the person to whom the information relates consents to its use for
another purpose,

(c) for the prevention or detection of crime or the prevention of anti-social
behaviour,

(d) 45for the purposes of a criminal investigation,

(e) for the purposes of legal proceedings (whether civil or criminal),

Digital Economy BillPage 44

(f) for the purposes of safeguarding vulnerable adults or children, or

(g) for the purposes of protecting national security.

(3) In subsection (2)(c) “anti-social behaviour” means conduct that—

(a) is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person, or

(b) 5is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to
that person’s occupation of residential premises.

(4) Subsection (2) does not apply to information disclosed to a person under
section 44 by the Revenue and Customs; but such information may be used by
that person for purposes other than those for which it was disclosed with the
10consent of the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (which
may be general or specific).

(5) For the purposes of this Chapter information is “personal information” if—

(a) it relates to and identifies a particular person (including a body
corporate), but

(b) 15it is not information about the internal administrative arrangements of
a specified person.

(6) For the purposes of subsection (5) information identifies a particular person if
the identity of that person—

(a) is specified in the information,

(b) 20can be deduced from the information, or

(c) can be deduced from the information taken together with any other
information.

(7) A disclosure under section 44 does not breach—

(a) any obligation of confidence owed by the person making the
25disclosure, or

(b) any other restriction on the disclosure of information (however
imposed).

(8) But nothing in section 44 authorises the making of a disclosure which—

(a) contravenes the Data Protection Act 1998, or

(b) 30is prohibited by any of Parts 1 to 7 or Chapter 1 of Part 9 of the
Investigatory Powers Act 2016.

(9) Until the repeal of Part 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 by
paragraphs 45 and 54 of Schedule 10 to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 is
fully in force, subsection (8)(b) has effect as if it included a reference to that
35Part.

(10) Section 44 does not limit the circumstances in which information may be
disclosed apart from that section.

46 Confidentiality of personal information

(1) Personal information received by a person (“P”) under section 44 may not be
40disclosed—

(a) by P, or

(b) by any other person who has received it directly or indirectly from P.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a disclosure—

(a) which is required or permitted by any enactment (including section 44),

Digital Economy BillPage 45

(b) which is required by an EU obligation,

(c) which is made in pursuance of an order of the court,

(d) of information which has already lawfully been made available to the
public,

(e) 5which is made for the prevention or detection of crime or the
prevention of anti-social behaviour,

(f) which is made for the purposes of a criminal investigation,

(g) which is made for the purposes of legal proceedings (whether civil or
criminal),

(h) 10which is a protected disclosure for any of the purposes of the
Employment Rights Act 1996 or the Employment Rights (Northern
Ireland) Order 1996 (SI 1996/1919 (NI 16)),

(i) consisting of the publication of information for the purposes of
journalism, where the publication of the information is in the public
15interest,

(j) which is made with the consent of the person to whom it relates,

(k) which is made for the purposes of safeguarding vulnerable adults or
children, or

(l) which is made for the purposes of protecting national security.

(3) 20In subsection (2)(e) “anti-social behaviour” means conduct that—

(a) is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person, or

(b) is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to
that person’s occupation of residential premises.

(4) A person commits an offence if—

(a) 25the person discloses personal information in contravention of
subsection (1), and

(b) at the time that the person makes the disclosure, the person knows that
the disclosure contravenes that subsection or is reckless as to whether
the disclosure does so.

(5) 30A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (4) is liable on conviction
on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, to a fine or
to both.

(6) A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (4) is liable on summary
conviction—

(a) 35in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12
months, to a fine or to both;

(b) in Scotland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, to a
fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both;

(c) in Northern Ireland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6
40months, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both.

(7) In the application of subsection (6)(a) to an offence committed before the
coming into force of section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 the
reference to 12 months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.

(8) This section does not apply to personal information disclosed under section 44
45by the Revenue and Customs.

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47 Information disclosed by the Revenue and Customs

(1) Personal information disclosed by the Revenue and Customs under section 44
and received by a person may not be disclosed by that person.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a disclosure which is made with the consent
5of the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (which may be
general or specific).

(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence.

(4) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (3) to
prove that the person reasonably believed—

(a) 10that the disclosure was lawful, or

(b) that the information had already and lawfully been made available to
the public.

(5) Subsections (4) to (7) of section 19 of the Commissioners for Revenue and
Customs Act 2005 apply to an offence under subsection (3) as they apply to an
15offence under that section.

48 Code of practice

(1) The relevant Minister must issue a code of practice about—

(a) the disclosure of information under section 44, and

(b) the use of information disclosed under that section.

(2) 20The code of practice must be consistent with the code of practice issued under
section 52B (data-sharing code) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (as altered or
replaced from time to time).

(3) A specified person must have regard to the code of practice in—

(a) disclosing information under section 44, and

(b) 25using information disclosed under that section.

(4) The relevant Minister may from time to time revise and re-issue the code of
practice.

(5) Before issuing or reissuing the code of practice the relevant Minister must
consult—

(a) 30the Information Commissioner,

(b) the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs,

(c) the Scottish Ministers,

(d) the Welsh Ministers,

(e) the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland, and

(f) 35such other persons as the relevant Minister thinks appropriate.

(6) The fact that this section was not in force when consultation of the kind
mentioned in subsection (5) took place is to be disregarded in determining
whether there has been compliance with that subsection.

(7) As soon as is reasonably practicable after issuing or reissuing the code of
40practice the relevant Minister must lay, or arrange for the laying of, a copy of
it before—

(a) Parliament,

(b) the Scottish Parliament,

Digital Economy BillPage 47

(c) the National Assembly for Wales, and

(d) the Northern Ireland Assembly.

49 Duty to review operation of Chapter

(1) As soon as is reasonably practicable after the end of three years beginning with
5the day on which this Chapter comes into force, the relevant Minister must
review its operation for the purposes of deciding whether it should be
amended or repealed.

(2) Before carrying out the review the relevant Minister must publish the criteria
by reference to which that determination will be made.

(3) 10In carrying out the review the relevant Minister must consult—

(a) the Information Commissioner,

(b) the Scottish Ministers,

(c) the Welsh Ministers,

(d) the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland, and

(e) 15such other persons as the relevant Minister thinks appropriate.

(4) Once the review is completed the relevant Minister must—

(a) publish a report on its outcome, and

(b) lay, or arrange for the laying of, a copy of the report before—

(i) Parliament,

(ii) 20the Scottish Parliament,

(iii) the National Assembly for Wales, and

(iv) the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(5) If as a result of the review the relevant Minister decides that this Chapter
should be amended or repealed, the relevant Minister may by regulations
25amend or repeal it (as the case may be).

(6) The relevant Minister may only make regulations under subsection (5) with the
consent of the Scottish Ministers if the regulations—

(a) repeal this Chapter,

(b) amend or remove the power of the Scottish Ministers to make
30regulations under section 44(4),

(c) affect the disclosure of information under section 44 by a Scottish body
to another such body,

(d) affect the use by a Scottish body of information disclosed under that
section by such a body, or

(e) 35affect the further disclosure to a Scottish body by such a body, or by a
member, officer or employee of such a body, of information disclosed
under this Chapter by a Scottish body.

(7) The relevant Minister may only make regulations under subsection (5) with the
consent of the Welsh Ministers if the regulations—

(a) 40repeal this Chapter,

(b) amend or remove the power of the Welsh Ministers to make
regulations under section 44(4),

(c) affect the disclosure of information under section 44 by a Welsh body
to another such body,

Digital Economy BillPage 48

(d) affect the use by a Welsh body of information disclosed under that
section by such a body, or

(e) affect the further disclosure to a Welsh body by such a body, or by a
member, officer or employee of such a body, of information disclosed
5under this Chapter by a Welsh body.

(8) The relevant Minister may only make regulations under subsection (5) with the
consent of the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland if the regulations—

(a) repeal this Chapter,

(b) amend or remove the power of the Department to make regulations
10under section 44(4),

(c) affect the disclosure of information under section 44 by a Northern
Ireland body to another such body,

(d) affect the use by a Northern Ireland body of information disclosed
under that section by such a body, or

(e) 15affect the further disclosure to a Northern Ireland body by such a body,
or by a member, officer or employee of such a body, of information
disclosed under this Chapter by a Northern Ireland body.

(9) The relevant Minister may only make regulations under subsection (5) with the
consent of the Treasury in a case where the regulations could affect the
20disclosure of information by the Revenue and Customs.

(10) Anything required to be published by this section is to be published in such
manner as the relevant Minister thinks fit.

50 Regulations under this Chapter

(1) Any power to make regulations under this Chapter is exercisable—

(a) 25in the case of regulations made by the relevant Minister or the Welsh
Ministers, by statutory instrument, and

(b) in the case of regulations made by the Department of Finance in
Northern Ireland, by statutory rule for the purposes of the Statutory
Rules (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (SI 1979/1573 (NI 12)).

(2) 30Regulations under this Chapter—

(a) may make different provision for different purposes;

(b) may contain consequential, supplementary, transitional or transitory
provision or savings.

(3) The provision that may be made by virtue of subsection (2)(b) includes—

(a) 35provision amending this Chapter or repealing or revoking any
provision of this Chapter;

(b) provision amending, repealing or revoking an enactment passed or
made before or in the same session as this Act.

(4) In the case of regulations under section 44(4) which specify a person or
40description of person, this includes provision amending this Chapter so as to
make provision in relation to information disclosed by that person or a person
of that description which is similar to that made by section 47 in relation to
information disclosed by the Revenue and Customs.

(5) A statutory instrument containing regulations made under this Chapter by the
45relevant Minister may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been
laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

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(6) Regulations made under section 44(4) by the Scottish Ministers are subject to
the affirmative procedure.

(7) A statutory instrument containing regulations made under section 44(4) by the
Welsh Ministers may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid
5before, and approved by a resolution of, the National Assembly for Wales.

(8) Regulations under section 44(4) may not be made by the Department of
Finance in Northern Ireland unless a draft of the regulations has been laid
before, and approved by a resolution of, the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(9) If a draft of a statutory instrument containing regulations under section 44(4)
10would, apart from this subsection, be treated for the purposes of the standing
orders of either House of Parliament as a hybrid instrument, it is to proceed in
that House as if it were not such an instrument.

51 Interpretation of this Chapter

(1) In this Chapter—

  • 15“the appropriate national authority” means the relevant Minister, subject
    to subsections (2) to (4);

  • “enactment” includes—

    (a)

    an enactment contained in, or in an instrument made under, an
    Act of the Scottish Parliament;

    (b)

    20an enactment contained in, or in an instrument made under, a
    Measure or Act of the National Assembly for Wales;

    (c)

    an enactment contained in, or in an instrument made under,
    Northern Ireland legislation;

    (d)

    an enactment contained in subordinate legislation within the
    25meaning of the Interpretation Act 1978;

  • “functions” means functions of a public nature;

  • “Northern Ireland body” means—

    (a)

    a Minister within the meaning of the Northern Ireland Act 1998,

    (b)

    a Northern Ireland department,

    (c)

    30a Northern Ireland public authority within the meaning of the
    Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, or

    (d)

    a person providing services to a person within paragraph (a),
    (b) or (c);

  • “personal information” has the meaning given by section 45(5);

  • 35“public authority” means—

    (a)

    a person or body exercising functions of a public nature in the
    United Kingdom,

    (b)

    a person or body entirely or substantially funded from public
    money,

    (c)

    40an office-holder appointed by a person or body falling within
    paragraph (a), or

    (d)

    a body more than half of whose governing body or members are
    appointed by a person or body falling within paragraph (a);

  • “relevant Minister” means the Secretary of State or the Minister for the
    45Cabinet Office;

  • “the Revenue and Customs” has the meaning given by section 17(3) of the
    Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005;

  • Digital Economy BillPage 50

  • “Scottish body” means—

    (a)

    a person who is a part of the Scottish Administration,

    (b)

    a Scottish public authority with mixed functions or no reserved
    functions (within the meaning of the Scotland Act 1998), or

    (c)

    5a person providing services to a person within paragraph (a) or
    (b);

  • “specified person” has the meaning given by section 44(4);

  • “Welsh body” means—

    (a)

    a devolved Welsh authority as defined by section 157A of the
    10Government of Wales Act 2006, or

    (b)

    a person providing services to a devolved Welsh authority as
    defined by that section.

(2) The Scottish Ministers are the appropriate national authority in relation to
regulations under section 44(4) which specify a person who is, or a description
15of persons each of whom is, a Scottish body.

(3) The Welsh Ministers are the appropriate national authority in relation to
regulations under section 44(4) which specify a person who is, or a description
of persons each of whom is, a Welsh body.

(4) The Department of Finance in Northern Ireland is the appropriate national
20authority in relation to regulations under section 44(4) which specify a person
who is, or a description of persons each of whom is, a Northern Ireland body.

CHAPTER 4 Fraud against the public sector

52 Disclosure of information to combat fraud against the public sector

(1) 25A specified person may disclose information held by the person in connection
with any of the person’s functions to another specified person for the purposes
of the taking of action in connection with fraud against a public authority.

(2) In this section “fraud against a public authority” means a fraud offence which
involves—

(a) 30loss to a public authority, or

(b) the exposure of a public authority to a risk of loss.

(3) In subsection (2)

(a) “fraud offence” means an offence under section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006
or, in relation to Scotland, an offence of fraud, and

(b) 35“loss”, as it applies in relation to an offence under section 1 of the Fraud
Act 2006, has the meaning given by section 5 of that Act.

(4) The reference in subsection (1) to taking action in connection with fraud
against a public authority includes any of the following—

(a) preventing fraud of that kind;

(b) 40detecting fraud of that kind;

(c) investigating fraud of that kind;

(d) prosecuting fraud of that kind;

(e) bringing civil proceedings as a result of fraud of that kind;

(f) taking administrative action as a result of fraud of that kind.

Digital Economy BillPage 51

(5) In this Chapter “specified person” means a person specified, or of a description
specified, in regulations made by the appropriate national authority.

(6) A person specified in regulations under subsection (5) must be—

(a) a public authority, or

(b) 5a person providing services to a public authority.

(7) In the case of a person (“P”) who is a specified person merely because of
providing services to a public authority, the reference in subsection (1) to the
functions of a specified person is limited to the functions P exercises for that
purpose.

(8) 10In determining whether to make regulations under subsection (5) in relation to
a person or description of person the appropriate national authority must have
regard, in particular, to—

(a) the systems and procedures for the secure handling of information by
that person or persons of that description, and

(b) 15in the case of regulations which amend or revoke previous regulations
so that the person ceases to be a specified person, whether that person,
or any person providing services to that person, has had regard to the
code of practice under section 56 as required by that section.

(9) Before making regulations under subsection (5) the appropriate national
20authority must consult—

(a) the Information Commissioner,

(b) the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs,

(c) each other person who is the appropriate national authority in relation
to regulations under subsection (5),

(d) 25where the appropriate national authority is not the relevant Minister,
the Minister for the Cabinet Office, and

(e) such other persons as the appropriate national authority thinks
appropriate.

(10) The fact this section was not in force when consultation of the kind mentioned
30in subsection (9) took place is to be disregarded in determining whether there
has been compliance with that subsection.

(11) In this Chapter “public authority” means—

(a) a person or body exercising functions of a public nature in the United
Kingdom,

(b) 35a person or body entirely or substantially funded from public money,

(c) an office-holder appointed by a person or body falling within
paragraph (a), or

(d) a body more than half of whose governing body or members are
appointed by a person or body falling within paragraph (a).

53 40Further provisions about power in section 52

(1) Personal information disclosed under section 52 may only be used by the
person to whom it is disclosed for the purposes for which it was disclosed,
subject to subsection (2).

(2) Subsection (1) does not prevent the use of information by a person—

(a) 45if the information has already lawfully been made available to the
public,

Digital Economy BillPage 52

(b) if the person to whom the information relates consents to its use for
another purpose,

(c) for the prevention or detection of crime or the prevention of anti-social
behaviour,

(d) 5for the purposes of a criminal investigation,

(e) for the purposes of legal proceedings (whether civil or criminal), or

(f) for the purposes of—

(i) preventing serious physical harm to a person,

(ii) preventing loss of human life,

(iii) 10safeguarding vulnerable adults or children,

(iv) responding to an emergency, or

(v) protecting national security.

(3) In subsection (2)(c) “anti-social behaviour” means conduct that—

(a) is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person, or

(b) 15is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to
that person’s occupation of residential premises.

(4) Subsection (2) does not apply to information disclosed to a person under
section 52 by the Revenue and Customs; but such information may be used by
that person for purposes other than those for which it was disclosed with the
20consent of the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (which
may be general or specific).

(5) For the purposes of this Chapter information is “personal information” if—

(a) it relates to and identifies a particular person (including a body
corporate), but

(b) 25it is not information about the internal administrative arrangements of
a specified person.

(6) For the purposes of subsection (1) information identifies a particular person if
the identity of that person—

(a) is specified in the information,

(b) 30can be deduced from the information, or

(c) can be deduced from the information taken together with any other
information.

(7) A disclosure under section 52 does not breach—

(a) any obligation of confidence owed by the person making the
35disclosure, or

(b) any other restriction on the disclosure of information (however
imposed).

(8) But nothing in section 52 authorises the making of a disclosure which—

(a) contravenes the Data Protection Act 1998, or

(b) 40is prohibited by any of Parts 1 to 7 or Chapter 1 of Part 9 of the
Investigatory Powers Act 2016.

(9) Until the repeal of Part 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 by
paragraphs 45 and 54 of Schedule 10 to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 is
fully in force, subsection (8)(b) has effect as if it included a reference to that
45Part.

Digital Economy BillPage 53

(10) Section 52 does not limit the circumstances in which information may be
disclosed apart from that section.

54 Confidentiality of personal information

(1) Personal information received by a person (“P”) under section 52 may not be
5disclosed—

(a) by P, or

(b) by any other person who has received it directly or indirectly from P.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a disclosure—

(a) which is required or permitted by any enactment (including section 52),

(b) 10which is required by an EU obligation,

(c) which is made in pursuance of an order of the court,

(d) of information which has already lawfully been made available to the
public,

(e) which is made for the prevention or detection of crime or the
15prevention of anti-social behaviour,

(f) which is made for the purposes of a criminal investigation,

(g) which is made for the purposes of legal proceedings (whether civil or
criminal),

(h) which is a protected disclosure for any of the purposes of the
20Employment Rights Act 1996 or the Employment Rights (Northern
Ireland) Order 1996 (SI 1996/1919 (NI 16)),

(i) consisting of the publication of information for the purposes of
journalism, where the publication of the information is in the public
interest,

(j) 25which is made with the consent of the person to whom it relates, or

(k) which is made for the purposes of—

(i) preventing serious physical harm to a person,

(ii) preventing loss of human life,

(iii) safeguarding vulnerable adults or children,

(iv) 30responding to an emergency, or

(v) protecting national security.

(3) In subsection (2)(e) “anti-social behaviour” means conduct that—

(a) is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person, or

(b) is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to
35that person’s occupation of residential premises.

(4) A person commits an offence if—

(a) the person discloses personal information in contravention of
subsection (1), and

(b) at the time that the person makes the disclosure, the person knows that
40the disclosure contravenes that subsection or is reckless as to whether
the disclosure does so.

(5) A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (4) is liable on conviction
on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, to a fine or
to both.

(6) 45A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (4) is liable on summary
conviction—