In response to the call for views from the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), this submission focuses on theme 8 (criminal convictions) and theme 9 (rights and remedies) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Criminal convictions (GDPR theme 8):
Unlock expresses concern that under GDPR criminal convictions will no longer be treated as sensitive personal data and aims to assure that sufficient measures are put in place to safeguard the collection of data on criminal conviction.
Whilst there is legislation that governs how individuals can answer questions put to them about criminal records (Rehabilitation Offenders Act 1974), there is no legislation about whether or how these questions should be asked (by organizations like employers, housing providers, insurance companies) and what safeguards there are in terms of data protection.
Rights and remedies (GDPR theme 9):
Unlock gives examples where online search engines have refused to de-list results that link to spent convictions, and requests in relation to criminal convictions that the right of erasure should oblige organisations to delete such information, once a conviction becomes spent.