ICO explains its change of approach to regulating CSPs

02/02/2023 | ICO

Eagle-eyed observers will have noticed on 20 January that the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) announced a change to the obligations of public electronic communications service providers (CSPs) under Regulation 5A of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR). The statement was removed shortly afterwards, leaving news watchers like us rather curious. Well, the ICO has issued an update explaining the reason for the sudden removal. Feedback received by the ICO resulted in a decision to provide greater clarity about its regulatory approach to CSPs, which has changed in line with its ICO25 3-year plan. In all fairness, the additional information provided does explain the changes more clearly. So that's that, then. Stand down, everyone; case closed. 

Right, so what's changing? Regulation 5A PECR states that CSPs are required to notify the ICO within 24 hours of becoming aware of a personal data breach or risk a £1,000 fixed monetary penalty. Under its new approach to enforcement and to ease the regulatory burden on CSPs, the ICO proposes to use its "discretion not to take enforcement action against CSPs under Regulation 5C PECR if they fail to comply with the 24-hour notification requirement." The caveat is that CSPs must instead notify the ICO within 72 hours in accordance with UK General Data Protection Regulation breach reporting obligations.

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ICO Wycliffe House office

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