ICO celebrates excellence in data protection with third annual award for practitioners

The Information Commissioner is looking for data protection practitioners who have made an outstanding impact within their organisation.

The call comes as applications open for the third annual Practitioner Award for

Excellence in Data Protection.

Previous awards have gone to data protection practitioners who have shown outstanding impact in relation to accountability and inspired public trust and confidence in how personal information was handled.

Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner said:

“It has been an honour to acknowledge members of the data protection community who have had a huge impact when it comes to protecting people’s rights.

“I look forward to announcing the third recipient of the award at our Data Protection Practitioners’ Conference on 6 April in Manchester.”

The winners of the previous awards were Esther Watt, Data Protection Officer at North Kesteven Council in Lincolnshire and Mikko Niva, Group Policy Officer at Vodafone Group Services Ltd. based in London.

You can nominate yourself or a colleague. Nominations are considered by a panel of judges. The winner will be announced at the ICO’s Data Protection Practitioners’ Conference on 6 April 2020.

You can enter the awards here. Entries are open until 5pm Tuesday 3 March 2020.


Notes to Editors

  1. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulator for data protection and information rights law, upholding information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

  2. The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA2018), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR).

  3. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new data protection law which applied in the UK from 25 May 2018. Its provisions are included in the Data Protection Act 2018. The Act also includes measures related to wider data protection reforms in areas not covered by the GDPR, such as law enforcement and security. The UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect the commencement of the GDPR.

  4. However, due to the timing of certain incidents in this investigation, civil monetary penalties have to be issued under the previous legislation, the Data Protection Act 1998. The maximum financial penalty in civil cases under former laws is £500,000.

  5. Under past and current law, the ICO can take action to change the behaviour of organisations and individuals that collect, use and keep personal information. This includes criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement and audit.

  6. Since 25 May 2018, the ICO has the power to impose a civil monetary penalty (CMP) on a data controller of up to £17million (20m Euro) or 4% of global turnover.

  7. The GDPR and the DPA2018 gave the ICO new strengthened powers, some of which, such as assessment notices can be used for this investigation.

  8. The data protection principles in the GDPR evolved from the original DPA, and set out the main responsibilities for organisations. Article 5 of the GDPR requires that personal data shall be:

    • Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals;
    • Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes;
    • Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed;
    • Accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;
    • Kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary;
    • Processed using appropriate technical or organisational measures in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data;
    • Article 5(2) requires that “the controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate, compliance with the principles”; and
    • Civil Monetary Penalties (CMPs) under past and current law are subject to a right of appeal to the (First-tier Tribunal) General Regulatory Chamber against the imposition of the monetary penalty and/or the amount of the penalty specified in the monetary penalty notice.
  9. Any monetary penalty is paid into the Treasury’s Consolidated Fund and is not kept by ICO.
  10. To report a concern to the ICO go to ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint.