Empower individuals to find out about “disclosures” of their data—meaning any time a person’s information in the ID database is shared with or accessed by a third party—at no cost.
Section 24 of the bill allows the Authority to disclose your identity information, but it does not grant you the right to know what disclosures have taken place, when, and to whom. This appears to contradict which grants everyone the right to access their own personal data and how it is being processed. Fixing this section of the bill is key to ensuring people’s rights are respected and preventing abuse of the database in the future.
These are examples of what the NIDS Bill allows. These examples may not necessarily reflect the intention of the Bill, but are possible based on how the Bill was worded when it was tabled in 2020.
Section 24 of the bill allows the authority to disclose your identity information (all the data about you stored in the national databases) in three situations: (1) you requested it, (2) a judge decides that the information should be disclosed to the police, and (3) as provided by other laws or by the act. The problem is that section 24 does not grant you the right to know what disclosures have taken place, when, and to whom, and this goes against the Data Protection Act.
The new Data Protection Act gives everyone the right to ask how their personal data is being processed and must receive an answer, especially when the person shared their information voluntarily based on a promise of utmost confidentiality. To achieve real data rights and data protection the NIDS bill needs to harmonize with the Data Protection Act.
What can be done? The bill should include a provision that gives individuals the right to access information about any disclosures at no cost. That way you will be able to verify how the disclosure that you requested happened, if your identity information was disclosed to parties to whom you never gave consent (this can help to identify cases of identity theft and fraud), and you will have the means to challenge the unconsented disclosure.
Watch this space! We will provide an update once the Joint Select Committee has made a decision on this issue.
Last updated 2021-05-27
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