Digital Switchover (Disclosure of Information) Act 2007

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The Digital Switchover (Disclosure of Information) Act 2007[1]
Long titleAn Act to make provision about the disclosure of certain information for purposes connected with digital switchover.
Citation2007 c. 8
Introduced byTessa Jowell Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, 16 November 2006
Territorial extentEngland and Wales; Scotland; Northern Ireland;[2] Isle of Man[3]
Royal assent18 June 2007
Commencement18 June 2007
Other legislation
Amended by
Repealed by
Relates toTelevision Licences (Disclosure of Information) Act 2000
Status: Current legislation
History of passage through Parliament
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended

The Digital Switchover (Disclosure of Information) Act 2007 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that allows social security information to be passed to the BBC and related parties to help with the digital television switchover in the United Kingdom.[4]


The Digital Switchover Help Scheme was established and funded by the BBC to provide free advice to:[4]

The intention of the Act was to help people receive assistance from the Scheme without having to go through a claims process. The UK switchover started in October 2007 in the town of Whitehaven and the Act came too late to adequately prepare the town. The BBC, through their consultants Capita, had to resort to writing to all the town's residents to invite them to apply under the Scheme. The Act was supported by Help the Aged, Age Concern, the National Consumer Council, Royal National Institute for the Blind, Royal National Institute for the Deaf and the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux.[4]


Information on disability and age can only be disclosed for:[5]

  • Identification of persons who may be eligible for help under the Scheme;
  • Making contact with such persons with a view to the provision of such help; and
  • Establishment of any person’s entitlement to such help.

Further specification of the information that can be disclosed is given by Statutory Instrument.[6]

It is a crime to disclose information received under the Act, other than in summary form. An offender can be sentenced on summary conviction to up to six months' imprisonment and a fine of up to £5,000. If convicted on indictment in the Crown Court and offender can be sentenced to up to two years' imprisonment and an unlimited fine.[7]

If the offence is committed by a body corporate and with the consent or connivance of an officer, director or manager, that person is also guilty of an offence.[8]

Territorial extent[edit]

The Act purports to extend by an Order in Council to the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man is a Crown dependency and the power of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to legislate for the dependency is a confused and controversial matter.


  1. ^ The citation of this Act by this short title is authorised by section 6(1) of this Act.
  2. ^ S. 6(2)
  3. ^ From, 1 January 2008, Digital Switchover (Disclosure of Information) (Isle of Man) Order 2007, SI 2007/3472
  4. ^ a b c "Digital switchover bill receives royal assent". Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2007. Archived from the original on 24 February 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
  5. ^ Ss. 1–2
  6. ^ The Digital Switchover (Disclosure of Information) Act 2007 (Prescription of Information) Order 2007 SI 2007/1768
  7. ^ S. 3
  8. ^ S. 4

External links[edit]