Safe Harbor: calmer waters on the horizon

horizonWhen David Smith wrote about Safe Harbor back in October, he spoke about a critical few months that he hoped would see the emergence of Safe Harbor 2.0.

That process has taken a little longer than hoped, but after much activity in Brussels and Washington last week the European Commission announced the EU-US Privacy Shield. The Shield is intended to replace the Safe Harbor framework, previously recognised as providing adequate protection for personal data transferred from the EU to Safe Harbor member companies in the USA.

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Eight reasons small businesses should read our new IT security guide

By Simon Rice, Group Manager for Technology.

it-security-bThe ICO’s new and improved A Practical Guide to IT is now available online and in print.

It’s aimed at small businesses and gives advice on how to keep IT systems safe and secure.

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Revised code looks at privacy notices

By Jo Pedder, Group Manager, Policy Delivery.

privacy-notice-code-of-practiceFollowing Data Protection Day last Thursday, it seems like the perfect opportunity to announce the publication of the ICO’s revised Privacy notices code of practice for consultation. The consultation will be running from today for 8 weeks and we are very keen to get your feedback.

This code of practice has not been revised for several years and as we all know, this is a long time in the digital world. The way personal data is used rapidly changes and the ICO has undertaken this review with that in mind.

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10 years of Data Protection Day – 10 years of ICO annual reports

10-yearsInformation Commissioner Christopher Graham writes:

“Why is European Data Protection Day celebrated on 28 January?  A good question for a pub quiz, perhaps. The answer is that the Council of Europe’s Convention 108 on the protection of personal information was open for signature on 28 January 1981.

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How shops can use your phone to track your every move and video display screens can target you using facial recognition

By Simon Rice, Group Manager for Technology.


Picture the scene, you’re in a department store and decide to go back and try that pair of trousers on for a second time. How would you feel if the price had changed or a display lit up with a three-for-two offer?

What you may not realise is that technology has been developed which could allow the store to track your shopping movements using the Wi-Fi on your mobile phone.

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Nine points EU referendum campaign groups should remember if they don’t want to break the rules

By Judith Jones, Group Manager.

EU-referendum-bWith reports suggesting the UK could go to the polls this year for the EU referendum, campaign groups are already starting to mobilise support.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) therefore wants to remind campaigning groups and political parties that they must comply with data protection and electronic marketing rules in the lead up to the referendum.

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Happy 1st birthday,!

By Greer Schick, Online and Internal Communications Manager.


We held a little celebration last week to mark the first birthday of our redesigned

It seems appropriate to take a look back over the year and 4.7m visits, and ahead to some of the improvements and new services coming up.

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ICO top stories of the year

By Robert Parker, Head of Corporate Affairs.


The ICO has been in the news throughout 2015. From raiding a call centre making nuisance calls to ordering Google to remove certain search results, we’ve been busy holding organisations to account over information rights.

Action by the ICO has frequently been picked up by journalists leading to features on television and radio, in newspapers and online.

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Reform of data protection laws hits home straight

By Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner

eu-reforms-padlockIt’s taken four years of debate, but as we reach the 1,422nd day of planning, discussion and negotiation, agreement has finally been reached on the reform of data protection laws.

Last night, the institutions of the European Union – the Commission, the Council, and the Parliament – reached agreement on the new rules that will be put in place across the EU, and that will replace the UK’s Data Protection Act 1998. Tomorrow the key Parliamentary committee is expected to vote in support.

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Top five ICO blogs of 2015

By Robert Parker, Head of Corporate Affairs.


It’s been a busy year here at the ICO and we’ve had thousands of you reading our blogs, which give you the lowdown on all the latest information rights issues.

There have been more than 115,000 views of the ICO blogs this year, by nearly 55,000 people. September was our most popular month, with an average of 739 views each day. Our blogs were read around the world in 2015, from places including Taiwan, South Africa, the United States, Mongolia, Jamaica and Malaysia. Continue reading

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