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 Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the South Korean Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) have a strong relationship which recognises their shared common mission to uphold people’s information rights, while supporting digital innovation and economic development.

In recognition of this, the ICO and PIPC have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Cooperation between international data protection authorities is essential in times of global data-driven business and this MoU builds on the strong collaboration the two authorities already. The MoU comes after the PIPC was restructured as an independent data protection authority in Korea following the amendment to three data protection laws, and also at a time of increasing trade between the UK and Korea.

The MoU sets out how the authorities will continue to share experiences and best practice; cooperate on specific projects of interest; and share information or intelligence to support their regulatory work.

John Edwards, UK Information Commissioner, said:

“I’m pleased the MoU publicises our collaborative efforts to protect our citizens personal data. The ICO and the PIPC face common challenges in regulating our increasingly digital and globalised world. The PIPC and ICO share a number of regulatory goals and aspirations to aid us in finding impactful pragmatic solutions to protecting our citizens and supporting business.”

The MoU will not involve the sharing of personal data and is in line with the ICO’s legal responsibilities. It fits firmly with the UK commitment to protect the personal data of its citizens, while enabling the opportunities of digital innovation.

We also note and welcome the announcement today that the UK and South Korea have reached an agreement in principle on adequacy.

The UK Government is responsible for the adequacy process with other countries, and the ICO will support and assist in line with our defined role in the adequacy process.