The influence of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) among global information rights regulators will be demonstrated this week as the UK body hosts three international events in four days.
Co-operation and knowledge sharing with overseas counterparts on data protection and privacy issues was one of the key themes in the ICO’s Information Rights Strategic Plan, which was published last month. The week of activities also supports the ICO’s new International Strategy, which will be published early next month
Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, said: “Data, and the challenges involved in protecting it, don’t necessarily respect international boundaries so it is important that the ICO is a respected and relevant regulator with global reach and influence.
“The events we are hosting this week demonstrate the ICO’s commitment to looking at the bigger picture and sharing knowledge, ideas and best practice with colleagues in Europe and further afield.”
On Tuesday and Wednesday, 20-21 June, the ICO will welcome 60 delegates from 28 different authorities to the 29th European Data Protection Case Handling Workshop. Delegates at the two-day event will discuss how the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is affecting their countries or regions. Topics will include new rights for individuals, mandatory data breach notifications, handling of complaints and co-operation mechanisms.
On Wednesday afternoon, the ICO will be giving the floor to the inaugural Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) Enforcement Practitioners Workshop. GPEN is an informal global network of data protection and privacy enforcement authorities dedicated to discussing the practical aspects of law enforcement co-operation and sharing best practice.
The workshop will involve 70 delegates from 32 worldwide authorities, as well as experts from the consumer protection and telecommunications fields. The programme, which has been designed by the ICO and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, will look at all the crucial steps in a privacy/data protection enforcement case with a particular focus on international exchange of skills and practical experiences.
The GPEN workshop will continue on Thursday 22 June. Both workshops will take place at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.
Finally, on Friday 23 June, the ICO will host delegates from the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (ICDPPC) at its headquarters in Wilmslow, Cheshire. Members of the ICDPPC Group of Experts on International Enforcement Co-operation will discuss the progress of their project ahead of the organisation’s annual conference in Hong Kong in September.
Notes to Editors
- The Information Commissioner’s Office upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
- The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.
- The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new law that will replace the Data Protection Act 1998 and will apply in the UK from 25 May 2018. The government has confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect the commencement of the GDPR.
- The ICO can take action to change the behaviour of organisations and individuals that collect, use and keep personal information. This includes criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement and audit. The ICO has the power to impose a monetary penalty on a data controller of up to £500,000.
- Anyone who processes personal information must comply with eight principles of the Data Protection Act, which make sure that personal information is:
- fairly and lawfully processed;
- adequate, relevant and not excessive;
- accurate and up to date;
- not kept for longer than is necessary;
- processed in line with your rights;
- secure; and
- not transferred to other countries without adequate protection.