The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has submitted its response to the Data Protection and Digital Information (No.2) Bill (DPDI No.2 Bill) call for written evidence.
Information Commissioner John Edwards welcomes the DPDI No.2 Bill as a positive set of reforms. In its original response to the data: a new direction consultation, the ICO expressed a number of concerns about the proposed reforms, including the Secretary of State's role in appointing the CEO and approving all significant ICO guidance.
Mr Edwards explained he "felt strongly that as they stood, those reforms would reduce the ICO’s independence, and that the proposed changes to our guidance production would also reduce regulatory certainty for organisations. I also felt that to retain our independence from the Government, it was important for the CEO to be appointed by the Chair and Board, not the Secretary of State."
Mr Edwards is pleased that the government has taken his concerns on board to ensure the ICO can maintain its reputation as an independent regulator. As a result, he can offer the DPDI No.2 Bill his full support.
Among the other highlights in the response, the ICO supports the government's risk-based approach to accountability, saying that it should help organisations carrying out high-risk processing, but calls for greater clarity and certainty on what constitutes high-risk processing. The ICO is also pleased the government has retained the right to a human review of AI processing decisions and has not taken forward the initial proposal to introduce a cost ceiling for subject access requests.
On the subject of maintaining our adequacy status with the EU, the ICO points out, "Adequacy does not require a carbon copy of the GDPR", and the proposed changes will maintain the high standards both the UK and EU are committed to. It is the ICO's view that the changes presented in the DPDI No.2 Bill "strike a positive balance and should not present a risk to the UK’s adequacy status."
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