Investigatory Powers Bill: Privacy concerns ‘could be met’

Investigatory Powers Bill: Privacy concerns ‘could be met’

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Powers that allow UK security services to collect large volumes of personal data are not “inherently incompatible” with privacy laws, say MPs and peers.

The Human Rights Committee said so-called bulk data gathering was “capable of being justified”.

It welcomed the Investigatory Powers Bill as a “significant step forward” in human rights terms but said more safeguards were needed.

The Home Office said it welcomed the joint committee’s report.

The Investigatory Powers Bill aims to put on a firmer legal footing the collection by the security services of vast quantities of internet data in the UK and personal details held on databases.

Home Secretary Theresa May says these so-called bulk powers have played a significant role in every major counter-terrorism investigation over the past decade.

But civil liberties groups have raised concerns about privacy.
‘Clear legal basis’

The government has already had to significantly amend its proposals after a draft bill last year was heavily criticised by three parliamentary committees.