HOME AFFAIRS – ACCESS TO CONFIDENTIAL DATA – 6 December 2010

Dr Julian Lewis: In the WikiLeaks affair referred to earlier, was not the real problem that a low-level crime yielded such a high volume of confidential data? So is not the real lesson for the future that gigantic databases of this sort ought not to be created? Will the Home Secretary be spreading that lesson around relevant Departments?

[The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May): As I said in response to an earlier question from my hon. Friend the Member for Henley (John Howell), the national security adviser has been in touch with Departments about the use of confidential information by the UK Government, asking them to review matters and provide him with assurances about their information security arrangements. I am sure that my hon. Friend the Member for New Forest East (Dr Lewis) will be aware that there is a balance to be achieved between the very real need for people to have access to information in order to be able to do their jobs properly and the need to restrict access to some of that information. That balance has to be achieved, and decisions are made on that basis.]