The UK needs an independent privacy regulator

The UK’s privacy regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), has posted a vacancy for its top job that reads more like an opening for a corporate lobbyist than the data protection champion the UK needs.

Emphasis on “the wider benefits of data sharing” and “commercial and business acumen” make it clear that a corporate operative is being sought to gut the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

Omitted from the job description is the ICO’s primary role: To be a completely independent enforcer of data protection law. In its place are expectations that the next Information Commissioner deliver this Government’s agenda to water down privacy protections, to benefit corporations who want freedom to profit how they like from our data.

The next leader of the ICO can make or break Britain’s commitment to strong data rights. We must act now to ensure a corporate imposter is not chosen.

We are calling on Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to ensure that the next Information Commissioner is an independent enforcer of data protection law not beholden to the Government’s agenda.

Speak out for stronger data protection law by telling your MP to urge Oliver Dowden to appoint an Information Commissioner focused on enforcing data protection rules, holding government to account, and standing up to corporations that exploit our personal data.

Read the ICO's job description here.