10 Mar

ICO Data Protection Conference 2015

Data Protection Conference

Following on from the last data protection workshop run by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), Our Data Protection Officer, Idris Mensa-Bonsu recently attended the ICO Data Practitioners Conference in Manchester.

Attended by over 850 delegates, a wide range of private and public bodies across a variety of sectors came together on 2 March 2015 for the ICO conference to learn about and discuss some of the most potent issues surrounding data protection.

Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner opened the conference in a celebratory mood – due to the government’s recent approval of extra powers to fine companies who partake in nuisance calls and spam texts. Something which we may all be familiar with!

The main speakers at the conference were the Rt Hon Simon Hughes MP and Richard Bach, Assistant Director – Cyber Security, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Key Highlights:

  • Privacy Seals – ICO privacy seals can be awarded to organisations who can demonstrate good privacy practice and exceptional data protection standards. They are very much like the British Standard Institute’s Kitemark symbol.
  • The new EU Data Protection Regulation to come into force by March 2016 at the earliest, with a two year implementation period.
  • The Safe Harbour agreement is currently under scrutiny due to failings by National Intelligence Agencies to comply with EU law. The ICO says that it is still in operation and will not be suspended for the foreseeable future. This may change with the new regulation.
  • Advisory Visits – We can receive free practical advice on how to improve our data protection practices from the ICO. You may ask, why would we want the regulator to come to our office? There is no boomerang effect and the ICO will not penalise on any issues found. We would be found in a more favourable position if there ever was a data breach. The ICO would take into account how seriously we have taken data protection by inviting them to our office.

As the journey from Manchester to London, so also are there many stops to achieving a privacy by design society.


By  Idris Mensa-Bonsu, Data Protection Officer

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