One Commissioner to regulate all privacy and surveillance issues?

The House of Lords is proposing an amendment to the Protection of Freedoms Bill that would create a new role, a Privacy Commissioner with responsibility for individual privacy. This new office would incorporate the duties and functions of the Information Commissioner, Interception of Communications Commissioner, Chief Surveillance Commissioner, Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material and Surveillance Camera Commissioner (as per the Protection of Freedoms Bill).

In April, when giving evidence to the Home Affairs Committee, Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, spoke about his aim to improve cooperation between the existing Commissioners: ‘There is the Interception of Communications Commissioner, there is the Surveillance Commissioner and there is the Interim Closed Circuit Television Commissioner—who is about to morph into something else—and we are all operating different bits of legislation. It is very important that we operate in a joined-up way and I recently took an initiative to write to my colleagues and say we need to liaise very closely to make sure that business doesn't fall through the gaps.’

The ICO has not commented on the recent developments with regard to the Bill.

See the Bill

The United Kingdom Roundtable will take place on 14th February 2012 when David Smith, Deputy Commissioner, will address in detail the revision of the European Union Data Protection Directive and its implementation in the United Kingdom.

Host: Norton Rose, London.