Launch of the ICO's 2015 annual report - DAC Beachcroft

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Launch of the ICO's 2015 annual report

Published On: 1 September 2016

The UK Information Commissioners Office ('ICO') presented, on 28 June 2016, its 2015 annual report (the 'Report'), which also marked the departure of current Information Commissioner (the 'Commissioner'), Christopher Graham.

Graham discussed recent developments including the passing of the General Data Protection Regulation ('GDPR') and the ICO's role in the future of UK data protection, following the results of the UK referendum concerning its membership of the European Union ('Brexit') the previous week.

Graham noted that the ICO will be holding discussions in the coming weeks to properly consider the implications of Brexit. The ICO's view is that reform of UK laws remains necessary, and he would make the case for the highest standard of clear data protection rules, which he believed is required for a growing digital economy.

Graham noted that collaboration across borders is crucial to businesses, consumers and citizens. As well as highlighting the significance of publicity garnered regarding data breaches such as TalkTalk and the implementation of the Investigatory Powers Bill which is considered a significant step in promoting the safeguards of emerging threats to personal data.

Responding to a question from the audience concerning the ICO's future attendance at Article 29 Working Party meetings, Graham stated that he did not wish to speculate, but noted that other EEA jurisdictions have attended, but didn’t typically make comments during their meetings.

On enforcement, the ICO noted that, following changes made in April 2015 to the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 ('PECR'), it issued 17 civil monetary penalties totalling £1,985,000 to organisations pursuing a range of unlawful marketing activities. In addition, the ICO monitored the direct marketing activities of 26 organisations and wrote to more than 60 organisations to remind them of their obligations under PECR relating to the use of cookies.

Graham's term as Commissioner officially ended on 28 June 2016. Simon Entwisle, Deputy Commissioner, took over responsibilities before the newly appointed Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, took up post on 18 July.

A press release about the Report can be accessed here.

The text of the Report can be accessed here.