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.

Having left the EU, the Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport now holds powers to make independent UK data adequacy arrangements with new partners around the world, making it easier for organisations to send data internationally.

The statutory process of assessing the adequacy of countries requires consultation with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The Secretary of State and the Information Commissioner have agreed this Memorandum of Understanding, which recognises the roles and responsibilities of DCMS and the Information Commissioner’s Office in carrying out adequacy assessments.

The ICO and DCMS have today issued a joint statement:

“Data transfers are vitally important to global economies and societies and through the granting of adequacy we will reduce barriers to transferring personal data internationally, while also ensuring that data continues to be safeguarded by high data protection standards

“Assessing the adequacy of countries will be complex, requiring a robust process that can draw on information and expertise from a range of stakeholders. As part of this process, the Secretary of State and the Information Commissioner have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding that recognises the roles and responsibilities of the two parties in carrying out adequacy assessment work.

“This document will ensure the ICO’s position as an independent regulator is not impacted by its role in adequacy assessments while setting out key principles that will continue our strong working relationship.”