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Concerns over proposed new power for Information Commissioner

A leading employers’ group has expressed worries over plans to give the Information Commissioner more powers to make sure firms are complying with the Data Protection Act.

An amendment to the proposed Coroners and Justice Bill, the CBI has said, would remove a requirement for the Information Commissioner to get permission from a court before searching companies and their computer systems.

The CBI argued that dropping this legal protection could lead to unnecessary extra disruption for firms that are complying with the law on handling data.

Matthew Fell, the CBI’s director of company affairs, said: “The Information Commissioner can already inspect businesses to check they comply with data protection measures.

“The proposed amendment would remove the need to get permission from a court. Taking away this safeguard could lead to unnecessary and unjustified inspections that would hamper and disrupt responsible, law-abiding businesses at a difficult time.”