The 1984 Data Protection Act

  • Kevin MantonEmail author


This chapter examines events under the Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government and shows how though this government’s ideas and its data plans were continuations of those of its Labour predecessor, it nevertheless passed the 1984 Data Protection Act. This is explained by reference to international pressure, but the final shape of the act was determined by the intervention of Keith Joseph and John Nott who produced a form of data protection that conformed to their free market metanarrative. This chapter concludes by showing how the act focused attention onto computerised data and so realised the strategic aim of governments since the time of the Younger Committee: it turned political debates about the nature of data into discussions about the technical safety of computerised systems.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LondonLondonUK

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