ICO to reduce impact of fines on public sector

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has outlined a new approach to working with public authorities.

UK information commissioner John Edwards penned an open letter to public authorities about the new approach, outlining aims to make consultation with public authorities more effective.

The revisions will see the commissioner exercise discretion to reduce the impact of fines on the public sector, coupled with better engagement including publicising lessons learned and sharing good practice, the letter said.

When a fine is under consideration, decision notices will now give an indication on the amount of the fine the case would have attracted, with the approach providing information to the wider economy about the levels of penalty others may expect from similar misconduct.

In addition, the ICO will also be working more closely with the public sector to encourage compliance with data protection law and prevent harms before they happen.

The new approach will be trialled over the next two years.

John Edwards commented: “I want to ensure my office remains a pragmatic, proportionate and effective regulator focused on making a difference to people’s lives.

“That means taking a more proactive and targeted approach with public authorities to ensure they are looking after people’s information while supporting their communities.

“In the case of Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, the breach revealed much more than people’s email addresses. Knowing about someone’s relationship with a gender identity clinic could be hugely dangerous and damaging to the patients’ well-being and personal safety. The trust also failed to learn from previous incidents.”

    Share Story:

Recent Stories