ICO welcomes EU data protection reforms

Steve Wood, head of policy delivery for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, has announced his support for the recent changes to the European Parliament’s data protection laws.

Wood said the the final approval of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) marked “another step toward data protection reform”. The GDPR aims to strengthen citizens' fundamental rights in the digital age and facilitate business by simplifying rules for companies in the digital single market.

“Many of the principles in the new legislation are much the same as those in the current law, but there are important new elements, and some things will need to be done differently,” added Wood. “It will enhance the data protection rights of individuals and make organisations more accountable. The legislation will have a two-year transition period for organisations to make those changes.

“And of course the ICO will be here to support that work. Our work around implementing the reforms has started in earnest, particularly around identifying the key areas we’ll focus our guidance on. But there’s still plenty of work to do to make sure the UK is ready for the reforms in 2018.”

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