Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
2012 CHAPTER 9
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 received Royal Assent on 1st May 2012. The Act contains a number of measures which, when brought into force, will have a major impact on public authorities especially councils. Amongst other things the Act:
Introduces a new code of practice for surveillance camera systems. This is in addition to the CCTV Code of Practice under the Data Protection Act 1998. There will also be a surveillance camera commissioner. Read our article on the New CCTV Regime
- Extends the Freedom of Information Act by requiring datasets to be made available in a re-usable electronic format. Read our blog entry on how this can make you money. For details of an innovative use of a dataset click here
- Provides for Magistrates’ approval of all surveillance activities by local authorities under RIPA. Read a full article on the changes.
- Requires schools to obtain parents’ consent before processing children’s biometric information
- Restrict the scope of the ‘vetting and barring’ scheme for protecting vulnerable groups and makes changes to the system of criminal records checks. Read our article
Ibrahim Hasan is doing a special online training session on the new Act in June and July.
The Act will also:
- bring in a new framework for police retention of fingerprints and DNA data
- provide for a code of practice to cover officials’ powers of entry, with these powers being subject to review and repeal
- outlaw wheel-clamping on private land
- introduce a new regime for police stops and searches under the Terrorism Act 2000 and reduces the maximum pre-charge detention period under that Act from 28 to 14 days
- enable those with convictions for consensual sexual relations between men aged 16 or over (which have since been decriminalised) to apply to have them disregarded