Select Committee on Science and Technology Eighth Report



1.  In February, we reported on Digital Images as Evidence (5th Report Session 1997-98, HL Paper 64; evidence, HL Paper 64-I). Our Report considered the implications for the justice system and for civil liberties of the digital technology which is increasingly used to create, store and manipulate images of every kind, including images captured by closed-circuit TV.

2.  Some of the issues covered in our Report arose on the Data Protection Bill [HL], which was then in this House and is now in the Commons. We received a prompt and helpful letter on these issues from Lord Williams of Mostyn, which is printed in Appendix 2. Members of the Committee probed some of these issues further by tabling amendments to the Bill, which were withdrawn following satisfactory responses by Ministers. In particular, the Government confirmed that the Bill's provisions will apply to closed-circuit TV (HL Deb 23 February 1998 col. CWH 1-6); and that codes of practice issued by the Data Protection Commissioner will be enforceable where based on the Bill's regime (HL Deb 25 February 1998 col. CWH 118-121).

3.  The Government have now produced a response to the Report as a whole, which in general we consider to be satisfactory. The response is printed in Appendix 3.

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