Insights Information Commissioner’s Office announces major listening exercise


The newly appointed Information Commissioner, John Edwards, has announced a major listening exercise to hear direct from businesses, organisations and people about their experiences of working with the ICO.

The exercise will include a survey, as well as a series of events held across the UK. In February 2022, the ICO will hold events for business and industry and for the public sector, with guests being invited to share their experiences with Mr Edwards directly. Further events will involve civil society, academia and the public, with a focus on young people. Meetings will also be held in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, reflecting the ICO’s UK-wide remit.

The exercise will culminate with the ICO’s flagship data protection conference, DPPC2022, which is expected to take place in person and digitally in the summer.

Mr Edwards said: “I’m new here. I’ve worked in data protection and freedom of information for many years, and now my focus is on immersing myself in the UK system. I want to hear from businesses and organisations about their experiences. What’s working? What’s not? I want to know what would help you to achieve your objectives under our legislation. That information will help me to ensure the ICO can focus on a “how to” approach, not a “don’t do”. I want to give businesses certainty in what the law requires of them and what the regulator does. It is this certainty, in my experience, that best reduces compliance costs for businesses and ensure people’s privacy is protected.”

To read the ICO’s announcement and for access to the online survey, click here. Invitations to events and meetings will be sent out later this month.