ICO sets its priority areas for 2012: Finance and health sectors under spotlight

The Information Commissioner published on 29 December his Information Rights Strategy which reveals that the ICO will in the next 12 months concentrate its efforts in the following areas;

1. Health

2. Credit and finance

3. Criminal justice

4. Internet and mobile services

5. Security.

The office will review its priority sectors at least annually. This is part of ICO’s risk-based approach, which is designed to use its resources in the most efficient way, and target areas where the ICO can make a real difference.

The ICO will continue to work on the principle that ‘prevention is better than cure’. It intends to be neither exclusively an educator nor exclusively an enforcer. The strategy says that ‘we will devote particular effort to investigating, analysing and ultimately enforcing in those case that we see as contributing most to the delivery of our desired outcomes and not just those presenting the biggest risk’. More details on how this strategy is to be delivered will be published later.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham wrote in the ICO blog: ‘Our strategy reflects the increasingly integrated nature of the work of the ICO, responsible as we are for both the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act. For the first time we describe the information rights outcomes we are seeking and explain our approach to securing compliance.’