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.

A blog by Anulka Clarke

15 July 2021 

Accountability is a key data protection principle, but it is not one size fits all. So, when we launched the Accountability Framework, we knew that listening to and working with data protection professionals was going to be the key to success.

We wanted to create something all data protection professionals could use to assess the effectiveness of the accountability measures they have in place and understand where they need to improve. Your feedback has helped us to achieve this.

The insights we gained guided our thinking on how you can build data protection into your organisation’s culture. It led to changes to the layout of the Framework, making it easier to navigate and adjustments to the functionality of the Tracker, so it complements people’s existing working practices.

The Framework gives you the tools to go beyond just putting policies in place. It prompts you to review them to ensure they work in practice and demonstrates how you can shape roles to ensure that data protection compliance is the responsibility of colleagues at all levels.

Just as accountability practices always need to be reviewed and evolve – so will the Framework. We will continue to make changes to it over time to ensure it meets the needs of data protection practitioners and reflects the ever-changing world.

Next steps for the Framework include adding case studies to illustrate the innovative ways organisations can demonstrate their accountability. We want these to be real life cases, so if you would like to share your best practice example please get in touch.

We’ll also be running online workshops to look at how we can adapt and improve the self-assessment tool to meet your needs. You can register your interest to attend the workshops via our online survey.

Anulka Clarke is the Acting Director of Regulatory Assurance at the ICO.