LSE Law Department Briefings on the Investigatory Powers Bill - Beyond Privacy: The Data Protection Implications of the IP Bill

4 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2015

See all articles by Orla Lynskey

Orla Lynskey

London School of Economics - Law School

Date Written: December 16, 2015


In an era of digital communications, personal data flows do not respect national borders. UK residents communicate with friends and family living outside the UK’s borders while internet communications are routed all over the world when making their way from our computers and other connected devices to their final destination. At the same time, there is increasing public awareness of the dangers caused by mass data collection and data profiling. The Talk Talk and Ashley Madison data breaches, the Snowden revelations, the suspension of Safe Harbor data transfers between the EU and the US and the (misnamed) ‘Right to be Forgotten’ judgment by the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) have all made news headlines in recent years, and stakeholders – activists, businesses, policy-makers, the judiciary – are increasingly aware of the need to take personal data protection seriously.

This dual dynamic – the global nature of digital information flows and the increased awareness of data protection and privacy issues – poses a challenge for national lawmakers. Any law introduced influencing the flow of information, such as the proposed Investigatory Powers Bill (IP Bill), will have effects in other countries beyond the UK, and will influence where companies outside choose to invest and to develop their operations. This Briefing Paper will therefore put the IP Bill in its EU law context. It suggests that, beyond privacy, the IP Bill will jeopardise two aspects of the right to data protection: individual autonomy and personal data security. In addition to these rights implications, the IP Bill may also have economic implications by discouraging technology industry investment in the UK.

Keywords: Investigatory powers bill, IP Bill, surveillance, data protection, privacy, EU law, safe harbor, right to be forgotten

Suggested Citation

Lynskey, Orla, LSE Law Department Briefings on the Investigatory Powers Bill - Beyond Privacy: The Data Protection Implications of the IP Bill (December 16, 2015). LSE Law - Policy Briefing Paper No. 2704299, Available at SSRN: or

Orla Lynskey (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Law School ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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