Information Governance Survey: What councils need to do now

By Anulka Clarke, ICO Head of Good Practice.

Local Government Information Governance Survey

We’re here to help local councils comply with the Data Protection Act and get ready for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force from May 2018.

The ICO’s Good Practice department conducted a survey at the end of last year to find out more about information governance practices in local government. It received 173 responses. We already knew from our work with councils that there are some positive measures in place at local authorities but wanted to find out more about patterns of existing practices. Continue reading

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AI, machine learning and personal data

By Jo Pedder, Interim Head of Policy and Engagement.

AI, machine learning and personal data

Today sees the publication of the ICO’s updated paper on big data and data protection.

But why now? What’s changed in the two and a half years since we first visited this topic? Well, quite a lot actually:


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ICO guidance for consent in the GDPR

By Jo Pedder, Interim Head of Policy and Engagement.

gdpr-12-steps-to-take-nowBack in January I wrote about our plans for GDPR guidance in 2017 and our commitment to help organisations improve their practices and prepare for the GDPR.

I’m pleased to announce that our first piece of detailed topic-specific GDPR guidance has been published today for public consultation. This new guidance is about consent in the GDPR and we are interested to gain your feedback on it through a short consultation which is running from now until 31 March 2017.

The basic concept of consent, and its main role as one lawful basis (or condition) for processing, is not new. However the GDPR does set a high standard for consent. It builds on the Data Protection Act (DPA) standard of consent in a number of areas, and it contains significantly more detail on both the standard and processes for consent.

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Big data and the insurance sector

By Carl Wiper, Group Manager.

big-data-b-blogThe insurance sector is among those facing both the challenges and opportunities presented by the large volumes of data which are now available from sources such as social media.

How to benefit from this data explosion whilst respecting the rights of customers, maintaining people’s trust and complying with the law were the themes of an industry forum organised jointly by the ICO and Financial Conduct Authority.

The event was an opportunity for the two regulators to hear concerns and questions from the insurance sector and outline what they are doing to help.

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ICO International Strategy

By Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner.

international-c-blog You only need glance at your mobile phone to see how international data protection is today. Apps developed 5,000 miles away on America’s West Coast, following rules written 400 miles away in Brussels, in the palm of your hand to help you keep in touch with friends who live around the corner.

As a regulator and data protection authority, it’s important we have an international outlook. That’s long been the case, given the borderless nature of the digital economy, but it’s especially true today, as the UK reassesses its place in the world.

It’s an important context to consider as I set out what I want my office to achieve during my five year term as Information Commissioner. I expect to publish our information rights strategy in time for the new financial year, and it will have a clear international element.

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GDPR guidance in 2017

By Jo Pedder, Interim Head of Policy Delivery.


There’s nothing like a new year to focus the mind on self-improvement. And from a data protection perspective, there’s something about the arrival of 2017 that makes the implementation of GDPR in May 2018 seem so much closer.

The ICO remains committed to helping organisations to improve their practices and prepare for the GDPR. Today we’ve published an update setting out what guidance organisations can expect. It’s essential reading, as it will help you plan what areas to address across the next twelve months.

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Being held to ransom?

By Simon Rice, Group Manager for Technology.

ransomware-blogUK businesses are reportedly being forced to shut down after being held hostage by ransomware. One report suggested that 54% of UK businesses have been targeted with a ransomware attack, prompting more than a third of them to lose revenue and many to close completely.

Here at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) we want to help businesses prevent ransomware attacks, thus keeping people’s information secure and also avoiding financial and reputational damage.

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Top tips to think about now for a merry information rights Christmas

By Laura Middleton, Enforcement Team Manager.

holiday-blog“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,
Ev’rywhere you go,
Take a look at floors one to ten, lots of empty seats there again
Let’s hope there isn’t cause to call the ICO.”

With many offices shutting down for the festive season and plenty of extended leave, it can mean organisations are running on a skeleton staff.

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“Would you like us to email you a receipt?”

By Garreth Cameron, Group manager for Business and Industry.

e-receipt-blogOn the surface it’s a simple question increasingly being asked by high street retailers. But sometimes this simple question doesn’t tell the full story.

An e-receipt can be more convenient at times, but it is also a way for shops to collect personal data about their customers and send them marketing.

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