Human flourishing at the front of regulating how data is used Bishop Paul tells House of Lords

Bishop Paul has contributed to the debate on the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill during its second reading in the House of Lords today (19 December).

The draft legislation aims to update and simplify the UK’s data protection framework. 

Bishop Paul told the Upper House that, “high quality data is crucial to creating and sustaining a healthy and efficient society. But it is vital to get the balance between ownership, access, control, and legitimate use of that data right. Human flourishing should be at the front of regulating how data is used and reused,” he said.

The second reading of proposed legislation allows members to discuss the main issues raised by the bill and draw attention to concerns or specific areas where they believe changes will be needed.

Bishop Paul told their Lordships that “the Church welcomes any technology that augments human dignity and worth, while staunchly resisting any application of data that undermines that dignity.” It acknowledges that the current provision for data protection is in need of reform.

While recognising the benefits of data, Bishop Paul said that “It is worrying that the government seems to be reducing the levers and mechanisms that public trust depends upon, with some of the measures in this Bill.” He said that the assessment of the Public Law Project was that ‘While the Bill does not outright remove any of the current protections in data protection law, it weakens many of them to the extent that they will struggle to achieve their original purposes.’” 

He called on the Government to reassure members that the Bill will retain public trust in how data is used.

You can watch a clip of Bishop Paul’s speech below (credit to

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