ICO to evaluate the effectiveness of fines

The ICO’s new corporate plan promises a revised data protection enforcement policy by June 2013, and research on the effectiveness of the penalties. The ICO’s objectives for the next three years are:

1. Organisations have a better understanding of their information rights obligations.
2. Enforcement powers are used proportionately to ensure improved information rights compliance.
3. Customers receive a proportionate, fair and efficient response to their information rights concerns.
4. Individuals are empowered to use their information rights.
5. The ICO is alert and responsive to changes which impact on information rights.
6. An efficient ICO well prepared for the future.

Speaking at the ICO’s conference in Manchester on 5 March Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said: “Today sees the ICO launch our corporate plan for the next three years, a plan that reflects the challenges of interesting times. Our central purpose remains unchanged: upholding information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. But with information rights so clearly in the spotlight, our focus needs to be clear and steady: staying alert and relevant, anticipating trends and responding to developments.”

“There is much important work to do. And it’s not just information rights that are in the spotlight. The ICO’s role and performance will be under scrutiny as well, as we seek to meet the challenges and deliver on our plan – always ready to learn and always looking to do even better.”

Graham referred to the challenges poses by the EU DP Regulation which would take away an important source of funding, the notification fees. The Leveson recommendations would have many implications for the ICO; not least due to plans to reconstitute the ICO as a board of commissioners. A public consultation will follow. Also, the draft Communications Bill is still being considered, as well as post-legislative scrutiny on the Freedom of Information Act.

The corporate plan for 2013-16.