In May 2017, the ICO announced it had a key objective to increase the public's trust and confidence in how organisations store their personal data and make it available.

  • With some variations across different sectors, our August 2017 benchmark research showed that only 20% - or one in five - of the UK public have trust and confidence in companies and organisations storing their personal information. The ICO will be focusing on how it can help bring about an improvement in this measure in the years ahead.
  • The GDPR provides both the impetus and opportunity for us to engage with the public more directly about their personal information. We recognise that informing and educating the public is key to ensuring the ultimate success of the updated data protection legislation for all concerned: individuals, brands, the public and third sectors -  as well as the ICO, as regulator.
  • But comprehensively educating the entire UK public about anything is, of course, an enormous undertaking. So, following initial discussions with representatives from a cross selection of UK organisations, we agreed that a collaborative approach to this offers the best chance of success. That collaborative approach is now underway.

Want to get involved ? - collaborative approach

The immediate objective is to develop a suite of baseline messages from the ICO that help bring the GDPR to life in a practical and proportionate way to UK citizens. 

  • It may be that organisations want to help communicate these baseline messages through their own channels, particularly if that prevents individuals from being confused or inundated with similar messages from the many organisations - often more than 50 - with whom they have a 'data relationship'. 
  • We will soon be establishing an editorial and content advisory group which will take an active role in reviewing proposed content and materials emerging. Some invitations to participate in this have been issued from the ICO and we anticipate the group being formally established in February. If after reviewing the principles below, you think you could add value and want to be involved, please contact Robert.Parker@ico.org.uk.
  • The ICO has also already reached out to a significant number of sector and membership bodies organisations who may wish to help with the dissemination of updates about the activity and the campaign material to their members. If you represent such a body and have not heard from us, please contact Robert.parker@ico.org.uk.

Principles for getting involved

The following principles that have been established for this activity:

  • Any messages defined and delivered will be generic in nature ie they will not prioritise or prejudice any sector or any individual or group of individuals.
  • Any messages or content developed will have a life beyond 25 May 2018.
  • The aim is to deliver consistent baseline educational messages that will help individuals understand the changing data protection environment in a practical and straightforward way. Messages that organisations, regardless of their sector or size, can refer to, link to or repeat to complement their own customer and staff communications.
  • Regardless of the content or approach taken for defining and delivering these communications and their involvement, organisations will be able to continue to follow their own GDPR implementation plans and exercise their own choices about how they will communicate with their customers and staff about GDPR.
  • The materials developed will be accessible, understandable and seek to have impact with as many individuals in the UK as possible. 
  • Through this activity we will not seek to undertake any fresh research but will rather make effective use of research already conducted to date, by the ICO and other organisations. Any relevant new research conducted by others which provides additional insight in a timely fashion will of course be welcomed.
  • The final sign-off of the content and format of any communications will remain with the ICO and the messages will be delivered under the ICO brand. The ICO will have final decision on any points of discussion or debate.
  • The ICO team will share details about this activity and its progress with as wide an audience as possible.

Collaboration, transparency and accessibility

  • The direct or indirect participation of any individual or organisations will not favour their organisations or sector in the development of the educational materials themselves or have any bearing when the regulatory changes are fully in force.
  • A principle of transparency will apply throughout and the ICO will communicate ongoing details of the initiative through all their external channels and ongoing updates to industry. 
  • As well as having an objective to help educate the UK public, the ICO will also be actively participating in the wider European educational discussions and will bring any relevant outcomes, ideas or content from those discussions to the UK agenda as well as sharing anything emerging from the UK discussions into the wider European discussions.
  • Any collateral or content developed through this exercise will be available on the ICO’s and potentially through other organisations websites or other communications.
  • Use of any collateral or content developed through this project by UK organisations will be welcomed but is not mandatory.