New opportunities and increased accountability: public sector re-use rules come into force

By Steve Wood, Head of Policy Delivery.

RPSIThis weekend, as most of us will be hoping that rain doesn’t interrupt summer fêtes, weddings, BBQs or stage 14 of the Tour de France, the ICO will take on a new role under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, which come into force on Saturday.

The Regulations require public sector bodies to make information available for re-use, putting the revised European Directive on re-use of public sector information on a legislative footing, and supporting the Government’s commitment to open data. Continue reading

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The Supreme Court’s judgment on Prince Charles’ letters – seven questions and answers

By Graham Smith, Deputy Commissioner and Director of Freedom of Information.

Update, 13 May 2015: The Cabinet Office has now published Prince of Wales correspondence with government departments on its website.

LetterThe Supreme Court today issued its ruling in a 10 year battle to get letters written by Prince Charles to ministers released to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. So how did these freedom of information requests end up before the highest court in the land? And what will the decision mean in practice? Continue reading

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The questions (and answers) you need to know about tougher laws on nuisance calls

By Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner


At the ICO’s data protection practitioner’s conference this week we’ve been celebrating the success of our long campaign to change the law on nuisance calls and spam texts. Last week the government announced that it is changing the law to make it easier for us to fine companies that break the rules.

At the moment, the ICO has to prove a company has caused ‘substantial damage or substantial distress’ by making their nuisance calls. That’s not easy for us to do, no matter how many people have had their day disturbed by someone offering to sell them solar panels or promising compensation ‘for that accident you had’. The change in the law, coming into effect on 6 April, will mean we just have to prove that the company was committing a serious breach of the regulations.

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How data protection helps – supporting someone with dementia

By Judith Jones, Group Manager.

blog-alzheimersAlzheimer’s Society research shows that 850,000 people in the UK will have a form of dementia by 2015 and in less than ten years a million people will be living with dementia.

Today’s launch of a new publication by the charity ‘Accessing and sharing information: acting on behalf of a person with dementia’ will touch millions of people and is a prime example of the ICO working alongside partner agencies to help people understand their rights and security around personal data. Continue reading

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Three years on… …and still waiting for reform

By David Smith, Deputy Commissioner and Director of Data Protection.

blog-watchAs the candles were blown out on the third birthday of the European Commission’s proposal for a new data protection regulation for Europe, there were plenty of people asking how close we were to seeing any of the much-needed changes to UK law.

The short answer is not that close. Progress has been made, but the negotiations in Brussels are not even in the home straight, let alone close to the finishing line. Continue reading

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What you need to know about ICO Privacy Seals

PS2As we all await the outcome of the lengthy negotiations taking place in Europe over the reforms to our existing data protection laws, there is one section of the draft proposals that have been unanimously supported by member states. The reason for this pan-European consensus? Privacy seals.

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Review of 2014 for the ICO’s website and blog

ICO 2014Before January draws to a close, we thought it would be interesting to reflect on a year in the life of the ICO website, and more specifically, which parts of the website proved most popular in 2014.

Demand for the ICO’s services has steadily increased year on year, and 2014 was no different. Information rights were frequently in the media, so it will come as no surprise that the ICO’s website had a busy year, with over 19 million page views from more than three million users. Over 60% of those users were new visitors, which shows we’ve been successful in our mission to further our reach. Continue reading

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Five important decisions from ten years of the Freedom of Information Act

By Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner

foiaNew Year’s Day sees the tenth anniversary of the coming into effect of the Freedom of Information Act. Under the Act (FOIA) which had been passed in 2000, on 1 January 2005, citizens were at long last able to request access to official information from UK-wide public authorities and those throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland. On the same day, the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act introduced similar rights in respect of the devolved authorities in Scotland. Continue reading

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Is protecting data on your Christmas list?

By Steve Wood, Head of Policy Delivery.

christmas-listAcross the UK, millions of electronic items will top the Christmas lists of children and adults alike this year including mobile phones, tablets, netcams, fitness devices and smart TVs. When the kids are downloading apps to their mobiles and connecting to Facebook via the TV on Christmas Day probably the last thing on your mind will be protecting their privacy.

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Posted in Steve Wood | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment – remaining sections now live

By Greer Schick, Online and Internal Communications Manager.

blog-new-websiteIn my last blog I wrote about launching the first sections of a rebuilt Today, we have released the remaining sections: For organisations, Action we’ve taken and About the ICO.

For regular visitors, these are the sections where you might notice the biggest changes.

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