Jack Straw has dropped "Big Brother" proposals that would have given police and officials unprecedented access to personal data on millions of people.
Doctors and campaigners had resisted the move saying they had "grave concerns" about the powers it gave officials. Under the law, personal data including medical records, tax information and DNA would have been shared across the public sector.
But last night Jack Straw said the controversial clause 152 in the Coroners and Justice Bill would be dropped.
A ministry of justice spokesperson, "We recognise that the wide scope of the power has thrown up justifiable concerns, including that the power was open to misuse.
"That was clearly never the government's intention, so the Justice Secretary has proposed removing the clause from the Bill."