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.

The ICO’s work makes the news because people care about their privacy. We help make sure people’s personal data is protected, whether they’re ordering a pint through an app in a pub or when their health data is being shared through GP surgeries.  In the last few months we’ve spoken out about predatory marketing calls, flagged the importance of privacy in vaccination passport schemes and introduced a world-leading code to protect children’s privacy online.

Our media team works at pace to handle the demands of a busy national press office. That means responding swiftly to media enquiries, spotting the risks and maximising the opportunities.

We advise senior staff on the issues of the day, write and deliver media briefings at pace and arrange interviews with national broadcasters, publications and websites.

We find the stories in complex subject matters so we can create engaging content to explain how our work protects the public. Then we use our network of key national and specialist journalists to tell those stories with clarity and impact to audiences across the UK and beyond.

Our freedom of information work is part of this picture too, as we show how the ICO’s oversight of the law helps people understand and trust the decisions made in their name. 

Our work

Introducing Information Commissioner John Edwards

We secured targeted media coverage to set out John’s priorities as he took up the post of UK Information Commissioner in January. His first interview with the FT was backed up with an appearance on Radio 4’s Today programme. We followed up with an in-depth feature piece in Big Issue North, which included John discussing the value of freedom of information.

Image of Big Issue North news article

Enforcing the law

Our fines make headlines. Multi-million pound fines for high profile brands create ample coverage for our important work to protect people’s personal data. But we come into our own when we explain how a simple data breach can have real life consequences. 

Clamping down on predatory nuisance calls

We used real-life cases to help us highlight the damaging impact of nuisance call companies that target vulnerable elderly people. We successfully pitched to Radio 4’s You and Yours and national mainstream press including the Daily Mail, The Sun and Mirror. We also secured local print coverage and partnered with Which? and Age UK to help further promote our messaging.

Data protection and home security

Our work is far-reaching and can cover everyday issues that people wouldn’t normally expect to have a data protection impact. For example, the rise in popularity of video doorbells and domestic CCTV gave us the chance to highlight little-known privacy issues for homeowners. We targeted media with a mainstream audience and secured an item on BBC’s Morning Live and a feature in the Mail on Sunday’s You Magazine.

Our international work

Data protection knows no borders. We work alongside data protection authorities around the world to raise standards. In April we went to Washington in the US to speak at the IAPP Global Privacy Summit and network with influential counterparts.

Our press team secured coverage at home and abroad – The Telegraph and FT in the UK and the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post across the pond. We used the opportunity to talk about our ground-breaking children's code and the future of real-time advertising (adtech).

Reactive work

We’re great at promoting our work to the right people at the right time. But sometimes we have to react to what people are saying and make sure our voice is heard.

When the Home Office backed a campaign to delay end-to-end encryption (E2EE) in private messaging, we acted fast to add our views to the debate. We set up interviews and succeeded in getting coverage about the importance of considering the benefits – as well as the risks - of E2EE in The Guardian, BBC Online and Computer Weekly.