The ICO exists to empower you through information.

Newly appointed Information Commissioner John Edwards has announced a major listening exercise to hear direct from businesses, organisations and people about their experiences of working with the ICO.

The exercise will include a survey, as well as a series of events held across the UK. In February, the ICO will hold events for business and industry and for the public sector, with guests invited to share their experiences with Mr Edwards directly. Further events will involve civil society, academia and the public, with a focus on young people. Meetings will also be held in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, reflecting the ICO’s UK-wide remit.

The exercise will culminate with the ICO’s flagship data protection conference, DPPC2022, which is expected to take place in person and digitally in the summer.

Mr Edwards said:

“I’m new here. I’ve worked in data protection and freedom of information for many years, and now my focus is on immersing myself in the UK system. I want to hear from businesses and organisations about their experiences. What’s working? What’s not? I want to know what would help you to achieve your objectives under our legislation.

“That information will help me to ensure the ICO can focus on a ‘how to’ approach, not a ‘don’t do’. I want to give businesses certainty in what the law requires of them and what the regulator does. It is this certainty, in my experience, that best reduces compliance costs for businesses and ensure people’s privacy is protected."

The online survey can be found on the ICO website now. Invites to events and meetings will be sent out in February.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulator for information rights law, upholding those rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. It has a head office in Wilmslow, Cheshire and regional offices in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh.
  2. John Edwards began his five year tenure as Information Commissioner on 4 January 2022.
  3. The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 2018, the UK General Data Protection Regulation, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004, Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, a further Act and four more Regulations.
  4. The ICO can take action to change the behaviours or organisations and individuals that collect, use and keep personal information. This includes criminal prosecution, non criminal enforcement and audit.
  5. To report a concern to the ICO, telephone our helpline 0303 123 1113 or go to