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.

The ICO is a Member of the key global data protection and information rights fora; for example:

The Global Privacy Assembly (GPA)

The Information Commissioner is currently the Chair of the Global Privacy Assembly. The Global Privacy Assembly first met in 1979 as the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, and since then has been the premier global forum for data protection and privacy authorities. The Assembly seeks to provide leadership at international level in data protection and privacy. It does this by connecting the efforts of more than 130 data protection and privacy authorities from across the globe. The ICO also currently provides the Secretariat.

The International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC)

First established in 2003, the International Conference of Information Commissioners connects Information Commissioners, Ombudspersons and other bodies charged with overseeing the implementation of access to public information legislation, in order to foster the protection and the promotion of access to public information as a fundamental pillar to social, economic and democratic governance. In March 2019, the International Conference reached a milestone when it adopted its Governance Charter. The ICO is currently Chair and Secretariat to this forum.

NB. In some countries, data protection and privacy, and information rights, fall under different regulatory bodies and thus have distinct Commissioners. In the UK, the Information Commissioner represents the UK public in both spheres of activity.

Other networks we are a part of include:

  • The Common Thread Network (CTN) – focusing on the Commonwealth.
  • The Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) – a product of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
  • BIIDPA, the ‘British, Irish and Islands’ Data Protection Authorities’ of the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Malta, Gibraltar and Bermuda.