On Thursday, 14 July, Information Commissioner John Edwards delivered a speech at Woburn House in London to introduce ICO25, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) regulatory approach and priorities for the next three years. The plan includes a commitment to safeguarding the information rights of vulnerable people, while providing companies with greater certainty and flexibility to do business.
That certainty involves clearly outlining what the law requires and how the ICO will approach enforcement to enable "businesses to invest and innovate with confidence." Mr Edwards also outlined plans to cut the cost of compliance by £100 million over the three years through "a series of services, tools and initiatives, allowing organisations to benefit from ICO advice and the experience of others."
This support will include:
- Publish internal data protection and freedom of information training materials, along with content developed specifically for SMEs
- Create a database of the advice the ICO has provided
- Introduce a series of templates to help organisations develop their own policies and procedures
- Launch an ICO-moderated public forum and advisory service to discuss and debate compliance matters
In the speech, Mr Edwards also issued a warning to businesses that fall foul of the law. "To those who seek to target and exploit vulnerable communities, who seek an advantage over law-abiding competitors by misusing personal information: you will find yourselves on the receiving end of our most punitive regulatory tools."
The ICO25 plan's priorities for the next three years include:
- Tackling predatory marketing calls
- Examining how the benefits system utilises algorithms
- Looking at whether the use of AI within the recruitment sector adversely impacts neurodiverse people and ethnic minorities
- Continuing its support of children's privacy
An article in The Guardian provides additional commentary on the ICO's investigation into whether AI systems show racial bias.
Read the full ICO25 - Empowering you through information pdf report.
You can provide feedback on the ICO25 strategic plan by submitting your response to the ICO consultation, which will be open for ten weeks and closes on 22 September 2022.
Last week the ICO announced its approach to public sector enforcement.
Image supplied by the ICO.
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