Jon Baines, Senior Data Protection Specialist for Michcon de Reya, has written an article on the lack of guidance provided by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) about its procedures for issuing formal reprimands. One year after the ICO announced its new approach of replacing fines with enforcement tools such as reprimands, the absence of any mechanism to appeal such reprimands could place recipients at risk, remarks Baines. The ICO has not provided any explanation on what triggers a reprimand or the procedure for serving and challenging one. A freedom of information request for internal policies and procedures confirmed that the ICO has no specific written policy covering the issuing of reprimands. Baines concludes that this situation is unsatisfactory and calls for a rethink, particularly "where the action lies somewhere in the gap between the informal and formal."
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