The ICO exists to empower you through information.

The ICO has grown from a small organisation of ten people, headed by a Data Protection Registrar in 1984, to one with more than 500 staff based across offices in Wilmslow, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff, headed by an Information Commissioner.

We have experienced many landmark moments.

We oversaw the introduction of two Data Protection Acts, as well as the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations; supporting organisations of all sizes and sectors through these changes.

In 2017-18 we handled more than 16,000 data protection complaints, 5,000 freedom of information complaints and more than 200,000 calls to the helpline. We also received 400,000 new entries on the register of fee payers.

A lot has changed since we started out, but the mission of upholding information rights in the public interest remains the same.

All five current and former commissionersFrom left to right:
Richard Thomas CBE, Information Commissioner 2002-2009;
Elizabeth France CBE, Data Protection Registrar / Data Protection Commissioner 1994-2002;
Eric Howe CBE, Data Protection Registrar 1984-1994;
Elizabeth Denham CBE, Information Commissioner 2016-2021;
Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner 2009-2016.

Take a look at the major landmarks and achievements that have shaped our journey