The Information Commissioner’s Office (“the ICO”) has released its new strategic plan, available here.

John Edwards was appointed the new Information Commissioner and began his role on 4 January 2022. The strategy sets out how the ICO intends to achieve its four strategic objectives over the next 3 years. These objectives are:

  • Safeguard and empower people
  • Empower responsible innovation and sustainable economic growth
  • Promote openness, transparency and accountability 
  • Continuously develop the ICO’s culture, capability and capacity

To support these objectives the ICO intends to do the following:

  • Reduce its response times to data protection and freedom of information complaints
  • Develop a ‘subject access request tool’
  • Focus its investigation and project work on children’s privacy and reform of social media and gaming platforms
  • Investigate AI-driven discrimination and refresh guidance for AI developers
  • Influence the phase out of third-party cookies and work to provide Internet users with meaningful control over tracking
  • Create a database of its recommendations following complaints, investigations, and audits
  • Produce ‘off the shelf’ products or templates to help organisations
  • Produce training and development products for SMEs
  • Produce sector-specific guidance
  • Introduce ‘iAdvice’, a fast feedback service for innovators 
  • Improve the Binding Corporate Rules approval process

The UK government is intending to introduce new data protection laws that will reform the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR; the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill was introduced into Parliament in July (see here). The proposals include reform to the ICO such that the Secretary of State will have greater oversight and control, including the setting of its strategic priorities.

If you are interested in any further information or advice, please contact my clerks on 020 3179 2023 or