The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

This consultation has closed

Thank you for your response to our consultation on our ExplAIn guidance.

This consultation closed on 24 January 2020. Since then we have been reviewing the responses we received and updating our draft based on these responses. Unfortunately, the recent coronavirus outbreak has meant that we have had to delay publication of the guidance. We are working to get this published as soon as possible, but it is unlikely it will be available for several weeks. Once we have finalised a publication date, we will confirm this to you. If you do have any urgent queries about the guidance please contact Explain@ico.org.uk.

Thank you for your patience in this matter.


The ICO and The Alan Turing Institute (The Turing) have launched a consultation on our co-badged guidance, Explaining decisions made with AI. This guidance aims to give organisations practical advice to help explain the processes, services and decisions delivered or assisted by AI, to the individuals affected by them.  

Increasingly, organisations are using artificial intelligence (AI) to support, or to make decisions about individuals. If this is something you do, or something you are thinking about, this guidance is for you.

We want to ensure this guidance is practically applicable in the real world, so organisations can easily utilize it when developing AI systems. This is why we are requesting feedback. 

The guidance consists of three parts. Depending on your level of expertise, and the make-up of your organisation, some parts may be more relevant to you than others. You can pick and choose the parts that are most useful.

The survey will ask you about all three parts but answer as few or as many questions as you like.

Part 1: The basics of explaining AI defines the key concepts and outlines a number of different types of explanations. It will be relevant for all members of staff involved in the development of AI systems.

Part 2: Explaining AI in practice helps you with the practicalities of explaining these decisions and providing explanations to individuals. This will primarily be helpful for the technical teams in your organisation, however your DPO and compliance team will also find it useful.

Part 3: What explaining AI means for your organisation goes into the various roles, policies, procedures and documentation that you can put in place to ensure your organisation is set up to provide meaningful explanations to affected individuals. This is primarily targeted at your organisation’s senior management team, however your DPO and compliance team will also find it useful.

You can respond to this consultation via our online survey.

Or you can send your thoughts via email to explain@ico.org.uk or via post to:

Project Explain
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF

Please send us your response by 17:00 on Friday 24 January 2020.

You can find more detailed information about this guidance here.