The ICO exists to empower you through information.

Bilateral agreements

The ICO works with lots of other regulators around the world with similar responsibilities to us. We do this to better protect people in the UK, and provide certainty and consistency for business across borders.

Often we sign Memoranda of Understanding with other authorities. These are agreements that set out our respective commitments to work together and how we will do it in practice. We currently have agreements in place with the following international partners:

Multilateral and intergovernmental fora

The ICO engages with a variety of multilateral stakeholders which includes intergovernmental fora or networks of data protection and privacy enforcement authorities (DPAs). We also work with fora like the International Working Group on Data Protection in Technology (IWGDPT), also known as the ‘Berlin Group’, which includes other stakeholder groups like business or civil society (NGOs) alongside DPAs.

Our multilateral fora work is important as it enables us to effectively showcase the ICO’s work to promote global standards aligned with our own, but we also learn from others to improve our own regulatory approach domestically.

ICO’s support to the HM Government through International Organisations

The ICO contributes to progressing the interoperability of global data protection regimes, through our work at the Convention 108 Committee and the OECD. This work involves taking into account UK trade agreements and their impact on international data transfers.

The Convention 108 Committee is responsible for the interpretation of the Convention 108, the Council of Europe’s Data Protection framework. The Convention is the only international legally binding data protection framework to date. The Committee provides Guidelines on Convention 108 as well as the modernised version of C108, known as C108+.

The OECD also provides Guidelines and Reports based on the OECD Privacy Guidelines in areas including technology, children’s privacy and enforcement cooperation.


The ICO works with over 130 other international data protection and privacy authorities as a member of the Global Privacy Assembly (GPA).

The GPA aims to provide global leadership on data protection and privacy issues by agreeing common positions on policy and regulatory issues, sharing expertise and promoting collaboration.

Through our participation in the GPA, the ICO influences global thinking on key data protection issues, learns from others and improves our regulatory outcomes, including making enforcement work across borders easier.

Our involvement in other networks:

  • The Common Thread Network (CTN) – focusing on advancing data protection regulation across the Commonwealth.
  • The Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) connects data protection and privacy enforcement authorities from around the world to support cross-border cooperation.
  • BIIDPA, the ‘British, Irish and Islands’ Data Protection Authorities’ of the UK, Ireland, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Malta, Gibraltar and Bermuda.
  • G7 data protection authorities who meet annually to discuss emerging issues of mutual importance in the fields of Emerging Technologies, Data Free Flow with Trust and Enforcement Cooperation.
  • International Working Group on Data Protection in Technology (IWGDPT) also known as the Berlin Group observes trends in technology.