Information Commissioners Office (ICO)
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is an independent authority in the UK that promotes and enforces practices of data privacy. It is tasked with upholding information rights, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
The ICO's key responsibilities include:
Data Protection: The ICO enforces and oversees the Data Protection Act 2018, which includes the general provisions of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into UK law. This involves setting guidelines for the collection and use of personal data, and imposing penalties for data breaches.
Freedom of Information: The ICO enforces the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. These laws give people the right to access official information held by public authorities.
Investigations and Sanctions: The ICO has the power to carry out investigations into potential breaches of the data protection laws and can issue fines and sanctions where breaches occur.
Guidance and Advice: The ICO provides advice to both the public and to businesses on data protection and freedom of information. They can provide guidance on various topics, such as how to make a data protection request or how businesses can comply with data protection law.
Promotion of Good Practice: The ICO encourages organizations to adopt good practices when it comes to data handling, including running awareness campaigns, and offering resources and tools to help businesses and individuals understand their rights and responsibilities.