ICO’s work for 2021 to be mainly dedicated to coronavirus (COVID-19) challenges

ICO’s work for 2021 to be mainly dedicated to coronavirus (COVID-19) challenges

The Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has shared her thoughts on the work of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for the upcoming year. She highlights that as for 2020, the ‘ICO’s immediate focus remains supporting organisations’ amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since the beginning of the ongoing public health emergency, the ICO has produced guidance and tools on a range of different matters such as artificial intelligence, data sharing, and data protection compliance, to support organisations from the private, public and third sectors. While pursuing its work in that direction, the ICO is also aiming at developing guidance on several other topics of current interest such as political campaigning, facial recognition, and codes of conduct and certification schemes.

For 2021, Denham stated that the impact of the Age Appropriate Design Code will begin to manifest as the transition period of 12 months will be completed on 2 September 2021. The code aims to address risks in the use of children’s personal data by online services, and contains 15 standards rooted in existing law, such as the need to consider the best interests of children, the need to undertake a data protection impact assessments and the need to only share children’s personal data if there is a compelling reason to do so.

The ICO will also further pursue its work on responsible data sharing methods initiated with the publication of the Data Sharing Code of Practice on 17 December 2020. According to Denham, data sharing is ‘an important area of focus’ which will be supported through ‘broader work’ aiming at addressing the organisational and cultural challenges it involves. Denham has previously described the publication of the code as a milestone, but not a conclusion.

Furthermore, the ICO will undertake the latest phases of other ongoing work related to ‘data broking, the use of sexual crime victims’ personal information, and adtech, including audits focused on digital marketing platforms.’

Source: Blog: Information Commissioner looks ahead to 2021

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