Tuesday, February 19, 2019
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ICO celebrates the success of innovative data protection projects on Data Protection Day 2019

Innovative data protection projects funded by the ICO are making a real difference to public trust and confidence in privacy issues.

The projects were the first to receive money as part of the ICO’s grants programme, which facilitates innovative, independent research focused on privacy and data protection issues. It aims to increase the public’s trust and confidence in how their personal data is used.

Now three of the grant recipients have spoken for the first time about how they’ve used the money.

On Data Protection Day 2019 the ICO will be offering the chance to follow the stories of Javier Ruiz Diaz from the Open Rights Group, Dr Jim Longstaff from Teesside University and Professor Sonia Livingstone OBE from the London School of Economics on Twitter.

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said:

“Our grants programme is an excellent example of how the ICO supports innovation in tackling data protection issues.

“Information Rights are evolving all the time and a lot has happened since we launched the inaugural grants programme. The new data protection laws along with high-profile cases and incidents, have meant that privacy issues and concerns about how people’s personal information is used have never been more prominent.”

To further celebrate the 13th annual Data Protection Day, we’ll also be highlighting people’s information rights in a social media campaign, focusing on the new individual rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

We will also be encouraging organisations to build trust and confidence in how their customers’ data is used and made available, by signing our Your Data Matters pledge. Organisations that sign the public register gain access to an exclusive banner for use on their communications materials. This helps demonstrate their supports for people’s data rights and carries the ICO logo.

Ms Denham added:

“In these data-driven times, when public trust in how personal data is used is low, organisations must seize the opportunity to have a positive and direct impact on consumer and citizen trust.”

The ICO will join data protection and privacy authorities from across the globe in marking the occasion. 

Anyone wanting to watch the campaign unfold can join #DataProtectionDay on Twitter or like the ICO Facebook or LinkedIn pages to see posts. 

If you need more information, please contact the ICO press office on 0303 123 9070, or visit the media section on our website. For more information on individual projects, please contact the following:

Notes to Editors

  1. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulator for data protection and information rights law, upholding information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
  2. The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA2018), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR).
  3. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new data protection law which applied in the UK from 25 May 2018. Its provisions are included in the Data Protection Act 2018. The Act also includes measures related to wider data protection reforms in areas not covered by the GDPR, such as law enforcement and security. The UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect the commencement of the GDPR.
  4. However, due to the timing of certain incidents in this investigation, civil monetary penalties have to be issued under the previous legislation, the Data Protection Act 1998. The maximum financial penalty in civil cases under former laws is £500,000.
  5. Under past and current law, the ICO can take action to change the behaviour of organisations and individuals that collect, use and keep personal information. This includes criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement and audit.
  6. Since 25 May 2018, the ICO has the power to impose a civil monetary penalty (CMP) on a data controller of up to £17million (20m Euro) or 4% of global turnover.
  7. The GDPR and the DPA2018 gave the ICO new strengthened powers, some of which, such as assessment notices can be used for this investigation.
  8. The data protection principles in the GDPR evolved from the original DPA, and set out the main responsibilities for organisations. Article 5 of the GDPR requires that personal data shall be:
    • Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals;
    • Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes;
    • Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed;
    • Accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;
    • Kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary;
    • Processed using appropriate technical or organisational measures in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data;
    • Article 5(2) requires that “the controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate, compliance with the principles”; and
    • Civil Monetary Penalties (CMPs) under past and current law are subject to a right of appeal to the (First-tier Tribunal) General Regulatory Chamber against the imposition of the monetary penalty and/or the amount of the penalty specified in the  monetary penalty notice.
  9. Any monetary penalty is paid into the Treasury’s Consolidated Fund and is not kept by ICO.
  10. 10. To report a concern to the ICO go to ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint.



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