Mon 13 Mar 2023

The ICO changes the focus of its work to a marginal extent!

The ICO changes the focus of its work to a marginal extent!

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is marginally changing the emphasis of its work, says John Edwards, UK Information Commissioner, who is undertaking his first year in office. Addressing the IAPP UK Intensive on 8 March 2023 in London, he explains that where it would not be beneficial to the wider population, the ICO will not engage in every trivial aspect and detail of technical compliance in every case.

In a bid to make better and good use of its limited resources, investigations which do not achieve that aim will be stopped. He explains that the approach will be adopted on a case-by-case basis and ought to be assessed in proportion to the subject matter.

Following this, giving examples of rape and sexual assault victims, he delivers that the ICO’s work is to become more “humanised” and will address groups who, historically, have been abandoned. The Information Commissioner further iterates that there is going to be greater emphasis on gaming design, encouraging organisations to become compliant with the ICO’s Children’s Code.

Likewise, updating the audience, he lectures, approximately half of complaints received by the ICO relate to Subject Access Requests and that they are utilising all available sanctions to them. Please see our earlier post on “How to deal with subject access request”. Interestingly, he stresses the lack of profitability of non-compliance with data protection laws is down to businesses.

Providing little comment on the new Data Protection and Digital Information (No.2) Bill which was announced on the same day as his speech, he provides that the ICO’s aims are not conditional nor contingent on the codifications of the new law. It will be interesting to see how the ICO further responds and reacts to the new Data Protection and Digital Information (No.2) Bill.

This article was co-written by Arina Yazdi, Trainee Solicitor.

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