§ Mr. Cohen
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to ensure that all reasonable steps are being taken by the security service to ensure that, when processing personal data for the purpose of assisting the police, the data are processed in a way compatible with section 29 of the Data Protection Act 1998. 
§ Mr. Straw
The Director of the Security Service is under a statutory duty to ensure that no information is obtained by the Service except so far as necessary for the proper discharge of its functions, including supporting the activities of police forces and other law enforcement agencies in the prevention and detection of serious crime. We have already announced that, in line with existing policy, all personal data held by the Security Service is subject to exemption under section 28 of the 1998 Act. We do not envisage any circumstances in which it would be necessary to rely upon the exemption provisions in section 29.