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.

Over the next week we will be announcing the shortlisted nominees for the Practitioner Award for Excellence in Data Protection 2020. These are in no particular order:

Emma Davies, Data Protection Officer for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

Emma's nomination said:

“Emma has been instrumental in supporting the Trust to achieve its vision, advocating for the individuals at the centre of our care efforts and championing their rights in the face of a complex system. She had proven a key influencer in driving the accountability and transparency of processing, the Trust’s continual improvements and gaining a greater understanding of how it conducts public services in a modern environment.”

Electra is the founder of The Law Boutique,

The Law Boutique created a ‘user-oriented’ privacy policy to improve the delivery of information about how data is processed. According to her nomination, Electra is ‘a rising star in the London tech community’.

When asked how she felt about being nominated for the award Electra said:

“I’m absolutely delighted to have been nominated for the ICO’s Practitioner Award for Excellence in Data Protection. I passionately believe that data protection should be at the cornerstone of every organisation. If you can’t trust an organisation with your personal data then you can’t really trust them with much more”

Barry is an Information Governance and Privacy Consultant, and a former Head of Information Governance for an NHS Trust.

Barry’s nomination said that ‘the world and profession of health and social care data protection is a far better place for having Barry Moult in it’.

When asked why he thought good data protection is important to business, Barry said:

"All organisations have personal data contained in personnel files, IT systems and sensitive data in patient or customer records. Data is one of the most important assets and organisation has. For that reason, data protection should be a top priority for any organisation. This includes guarding the availability of the data to employees, patients, customers, and suppliers who need it, the integrity of the data (keeping it correct and up-to-date) and the confidentiality of the data (the assurance that access controls are in place) and data is only processed where a legal basis exists.

"Ensuring patient’s data is held safe is the minimum people will expect from the organisations they interact with. Robust data governance builds trust. It safeguards the reputation of organisations, establishing it as an organisation that people can trust with their data."

William Presland, Information Standards Lead for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Trust

In William’s nomination, it was said that he ‘has fostered and developed a culture without blame’ in his organisation when it comes to data protection. Staff training in DP and information governance has also been above 95% for the last 2 years.

We asked William how he felt about being shortlisted:

"Thrilled!!

 "It is a very big task looking after data for an NHS Hospital, and can be very tricky. A lot of staff are relying on me to give them clear, correct guidance in a timely fashion which can be tough. Staff and patients often have complex data needs and it’s important to give them clear guidance. This nomination makes me feel I am recognised for doing a good job.

"Data protection is important for any business, and hugely important for the NHS.  We have a lot of personal data- most of the personal data a normal business would have about its customers, but then we have people’s health data on top.

"And its private. We are all entitled to a private life, and we have to recognise their right to privacy whilst sharing the data properly and appropriately for patient care, without over-sharing it. And that why protecting their data is so important."

Dr Jacqui Taylor, CEO of web science company Flying Binary

In Jacqui's nomination, it says that she 'has created a British Standard which implements GDPR for Smart Cities' – work that has been recognised internationally.

Jacqui said:

"I'm delighted to be shortlisted for the award, which is based on the web science work we've done since we pivoted our company. Essentially, we've changed the technology we built to be both secured by design, as we're in the cybersecurity space, and also privacy preserving – and it's this work that's been recognised and shortlisted for the ICO's Practitioner Award for Excellence in Data Protection."

We believe our approach to data protection is supporting the emergence of a new economy, which I call the 'empathy economy'. It enables a new trust model to emerge online, irrespective of what industry you're in, and what focus your current business or commercial model is. Thank you."