As the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill moves into Committee Stage this week, PLP is urging the House of Lords to support vital amendments that will improve transparency and key safeguards around how Government uses AI.

The Bill weakens important data protection rights and safeguards, making it more difficult for people to know how their data is being used or how decisions affecting them are being made.

That’s why PLP has partnered with JUSTICE to call for provisions to improve transparency around automated and algorithmic decision-making.

Read our open letter to the Secretary of State on statutory transparency

We are also urging peers to support vital amendments that would preserve the UK’s data protection framework. Our key concerns about the Bill in its current form are:

  • New ‘anti-fraud’ powers would allow the DWP to spy on the bank accounts of benefit claimants
  • Public authorities and other bodies would have wider scope to refuse subject access requests, making it more difficult for people to access information about how their personal data is used
  • The presumption against solely automated decision-making would be ‘flipped’, allowing decisions to be made without human involvement in a much broader range of situations
  • The requirement to conduct a proper impact assessment of data processing would be watered down
  • Broad and unspecified powers would allow the Secretary of State to amend the UK GDPR without scrutiny by Parliament
  • And there would still be no legal duty to ensure that public authorities are upfront about their use of AI.

In a recent open letter, PLP led a coalition of over 30 civil society organisations, academics, legal practitioners, unions and think tanks who called for the Secretary of State to place the Algorithmic Transparency Recording Standard on a statutory footing  to increase transparency around the use of algorithmic and AI tools in the public sector.

Over 40 organisations, including PLP, also signed an open letter to the Secretary of State, opposing the introduction of new and far-reaching DWP powers to check the bank accounts of claimants.

PLP’s briefing for Committee Stage

Joint briefing with JUSTICE on safe use of ADM in the public sector