The ICO exists to empower you through information.

Early exit strategy

One of the terms of participation is for you to develop an exit strategy, should you need to terminate your participation earlier than expected. This exit strategy requires our approval as part of the bespoke plan. This ensures the minimal detriment to data subjects, for example if live testing of real data has begun. You should consider this condition prior to applying to join the Sandbox.

Planned exit

The length of your Sandbox participation will depend on your organisation, the complexity of your innovation project and the data protection challenges that you require support on. An approximate exit date from the Sandbox engagement will be agreed prior to your participation beginning, however we will try to keep this date flexible, subject to our team’s capacity.

The maximum length of engagement we can offer is currently 12 months, but we are open to considerably shorter engagements.

Before exiting, we will arrange a final meeting with you to discuss any outstanding queries, evaluate progress and to obtain your feedback on the Sandbox more generally. Following this, we will send you an exit report that summarises the process and the key activity that was undertaken and, if agreed at that time and appropriate to do so, a statement of regulatory comfort.

Frequently asked questions


In what circumstances could our participation in the Sandbox be terminated?

We hope that termination from the Sandbox will be a rare occurrence. Termination may result if you do not adhere to the terms and conditions you agreed to when you entered the Sandbox.

The Sandbox process will require resource and time commitments on both our parts, therefore we expect participants to approach the Sandbox engagement in a positive and collaborative way, and to respond to all correspondence within reasonable timeframes and with complete transparency. Where this ceases to be the case, we may look to terminate your organisation’s participation from the Sandbox.

Acceptance into the Sandbox does not guarantee your progress through the Sandbox. You or we may wish to withdraw from the engagement, for example if we are unable to agree a feasible Sandbox plan, if we have concerns about how the plans are progressing, or if there are certain requirements that you are unable to meet.

After our exit, will we continue to have any contact with the Sandbox?

When a participant exits the Sandbox this signals the end of the agreed engagement. However, we may occasionally contact you after this period in relation to the Sandbox.

For example, we may wish to invite you, if applicable, to future events or further discussions run by the Sandbox team. Attendance at sessions like these are often beneficial to both the participant and the ICO, and are on a voluntary basis.