The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
Published by a LexisPSL Information Law expert

The following Information Law practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
  • What is the Information Commissioner’s Office?
  • Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the ICO’s activities and approach to enforcement
  • Legislative framework underpinning ICO’s regulatory activity
  • Remit
  • Helping the public
  • Advice for organisations
  • Enforcing the law
  • The UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018
  • Freedom of information
  • More...

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulator designed to uphold information rights, specifically data protection, electronic communications and freedom of information. This Practice Note sets out the ICO’s remit, its legislative framework, the complaints procedure and the sanctions available.

The Data Reform Bill announced in 2022 is expected to introduce reforms impacting on the subject matter of this Practice Note. See Practice Note: The Data Reform Bill, including the sections on reform of the ICO and reformed enforcement powers.

What is the Information Commissioner’s Office?

The ICO is a non-governmental body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). The ICO is responsible (among other things) for the regulation of freedom of information and protection of personal data. Its mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest by offering guidance to citizens and organisations, rulings on eligible complaints, and by taking appropriate action when the law is broken. The ICO monitors and issues reports about the timeliness of organisations responding to freedom of information requests as well as the adoption and operation of the model publication scheme across the public sector whereby authorities commit to proactively publish certain information (eg, policies and procedures, minutes of meetings, annual reports and financial information) as a matter of routine.

The Information Commissioner is appointed by the Crown and has

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