Common sense changes to the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill will safeguard the public, prevent fraud, and unlock post-Brexit opportunities.
A raft of common-sense changes to the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill will build an innovative data protection regime in the UK, crack down on benefit fraud cheats, and allow the country to realise new post-Brexit freedoms while delivering new economic opportunities to the tune of £5.9 billion.
The changes include new powers to require data from third parties, particularly banks and financial organisations, to help the UK government reduce benefit fraud and save the taxpayer up to £600 million over the next five years. Currently, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can only undertake fraud checks on a claimant on an individual basis, where there is already a suspicion of fraud.
The new proposals would allow regular checks to be carried out on the bank accounts held by benefit claimants to spot increases in their savings which push them over the benefit eligibility threshold, or when people send more time overseas than the benefit rules allow for. This will help identify fraud take action more quickly. To make sure that privacy concerns are at the heart of these new measures, only a minimum amount of data will be accessed and only in instances which show a potential risk of fraud and error.