Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, responds to the government's data protection consultation. In a largely supportive tone, she responded, any evaluation of our national data protection laws provides the UK with an opportunity. Ms Denham agrees with the idea that data protection obligations should be proportionate to the risks represented by an organisation's data processing activities, including demonstrating accountability. However, data must still be secured and not used in ways that could cause harm. Individuals should also still be able to exercise rights over their data. "Innovation is enabled, not threatened, by high data protection standards." However, she does have concerns over certain proposals that risk regulatory independence, such as requiring the Secretary of State's approval of ICO guidance—appointing a CEO does not sufficiently safeguard independence. Any reforms must also be balanced "in terms of their impact on the ease with which data is able to flow between international jurisdictions."
UPDATE: 121021 - 11KBW Panopticon blog has published a summary of the ICO's detailed 89-page response to the government's proposals to amend the UK data protection legislation.