The Home Office has published a draft of the Investigatory Powers Bill, including provisions giving FCA powers to acquire communications data. Communications data is described as being the context but not the content of a communication, for example including the email addresses used to send and receive emails, but not what is written in an email. The Bill requires requests for communications data to be made on a case-by-case basis by relevant public authorities. Access will be permitted only when authorised by designated senior officers, on the advice of an expert single point of contact. To be permitted to make a request for communications data it must be necessary and proportionate to obtain the data to:

  • prevent or detect crime or prevent disorder; and/or
  • exercise functions relating to the regulation of financial services and markets or financial stability.

The Home Office states that the provisions in the Bill are intended to replace and largely replicate the effect of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. (Source: Home Office Publishes Draft Investigatory Powers Bill)