The ICO exists to empower you through information.

Many strategy documents stay locked away within organisations or – notoriously – gather (virtual) dust on the (virtual) shelf. We elected to take a different approach, in part because we see our data strategy as being relevant for a wide range of stakeholders.

This strategy first and foremost helps the ICO, its people and its partners understand the vision, direction and ambition of the organisation. This informs the choices we make day to day, as well as the longer-term decision we make on strategic investments.

It can also help our customers – whether members of the public or commercial, public or third sector organisations – understand our plans and intentions, consistent with our support for transparency in the public sector. It particularly can inform organisations who rely on the ICO for information or guidance to understand the role we expect data to play in delivering our services in the future. This includes how we can better share data with industry and other public bodies – as outlined in case study 1 (below).

Data Security Incident Trends

With the implementation of the Data Protection Act 2018 breach reporting requirements, the ICO became the custodian of one of the largest cyber breach datasets in the UK. Recognising the crucial role reliable data plays in managing cyber risks, the ICO initiated a data-driven approach to enhance the understanding and response to emerging threats. Our data security incident trends report provides valuable information to industry on emerging threats and vulnerabilities and helps facilitate timely risk mitigation planning and decision making.

Since the start of the 2023/24 financial year, there have been over 10,000 visits to the page and over 1,000 downloads of the more detailed background data. Industry reception has been positive with the Association of British Insurers recognising the ICO as a pioneer - the first in Europe to bring this level of transparency to breach data.

In line with our mission and fundamental duty to ‘empower through information’ and promote ‘openness and transparency’, the ICO plans to enhance the Data Security Incident Trends Report during 2024/25.