Blog posted by: Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, May 25, 2017

I remember hearing my predecessor talk about a Chinese saying “may you live in interesting times”.  I think it’s fair to say we’re living in them!

My term in office is five years, and it’s abundantly clear to me as the first year draws to a close, ‘interesting times’ will be a recurring theme of my term. GDPR, Brexit, and whatever follows those two.  Add to that a general election too.

But while the exact form of the legislation may vary the route, the direction of travel for privacy and data rights is still the same.  Consumers aren’t concerned about the details of the GDPR, or what legislation might follow it. They’re asking questions such as: “Is my data properly protected?  Who’s holding organisations to account? What privacy rights do I have?”

As a regulator, the ICO needs to continue to be relevant: listening to consumer & citizen concerns and providing an answer to their questions.  These interesting times are a powerful opportunity to demonstrate our relevance by having a positive and direct impact on public trust.

And that’s what our NEW Information Rights Strategic Plan, is all about. It’s not about paperwork, or policies, or procedures.  It’s about how we make the work we do in Wilmslow, in London, in Belfast, in Edinburgh and in Cardiff, make a difference to the trust people have in what happens to their personal data.
Researched Links:

ICO:  Interesting times, and how we navigate them – (ICO:  Businesses warned to prepare with one year until data protection law change

EU News:  Application of the General Data Protection Regulation

techUK:  One Year to go Until GDPR!

techUK:  The Brave New World of GDPR

techUK:  Rob Luke's Keynote Speech for techUK's 'Will GDPR Change the World?' Event

They know who you are and think they know what you want!

Not just GDPR to worry about; Blog posted by: Jo Pedder, Interim Head of Policy and Engagement at ICO, 06 April 2017

Still much more to be done by LAs to comply with Best Practice / Legal Requirements

ICO Blog about ‘GDPR’ posted by Jo Pedder, Interim Head of Policy & Engagement

Some of us remember when ‘electoral data’ was a combination of paper copies of the electoral roll and ‘door knocking research’

HPE:  Simplifying GDPR Compliance: How to mitigate risk and derive value as you take on the new regulation


The Cyber Security Summit 

July 4th 2017 | 1 America Square, 17 Crosswall, London EC3N 2LB

With the recently published Cyber Security Strategy, the launch of the National Cyber Security Centre, Government investment of £1.9bn in cybersecurity capabilities and weekly reports of mass cyberattacks, cybersecurity remains a key focus for government.

Join 250+ cyber security and ICT professionals from all public sector verticals to tackle key issues at the heart of UK public sector cyber security at the 4th Annual Cyber Security Summit.

Discover, determine and deliberate the latest developments, strategies and technologies available to successfully defend your organisation online. 

Click here to secure your place and discover more.

What about those outside the ‘Westminster Bubble’ who don’t want their social media ‘highjacked’?

The UK needs a purpose-built platform to allow a new culture of politics online - according to a report published by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and Demos.

 ‘Signal and Noise’ claims that society, and by default, elected representatives are increasingly influenced by social media.  Whilst this potentially presents vast new opportunities for MPs, it also presents fundamental challenges as existing social media platforms are not tailored to politics.

With some MPs struggling to handle the levels of abuse they receive online, while others avoid social media altogether, the current situation is unsatisfactory for politicians and citizens alike.
Researched Links:

BCS:  Technology needed to transform politics on social media

Centre for Analysis of Social Media - Demos

How politicians are learning from social media | Society ... - BCS

Some of us remember when ‘electoral data’ was a combination of paper copies of the electoral roll and ‘door knocking research’

They have ‘made ’$bns’, so they can afford to spend ‘$ms’ to ‘police’ their sites

And here is another area of ‘digital concern’

They should hide their ‘Faces’ in shame

Children are mentally vulnerable

Capture & report bullies in action

RHI scandal: Politicians and how they use social media - BBC News

How Social Media Have Changed Politics For Better and Worse

Facebook key to winning UK general election, political parties say

Owen Jones quits social media, blaming 'frothing keyboard warriors ...

Social Media Management: Now You Can Cut Costs Without Cutting Services

Delicious food can also be healthy

A major new campaign has been launched by Diabetes UK. which aims to get people thinking healthily & creatively in the kitchen.  The campaign, called The Food You Love, will shine the spotlight on 5 people who have not let living with diabetes become a barrier to their love of cooking or to enjoying delicious meals.

Over the course of the campaign, they will share their healthy versions of some of the nation’s favourite recipes like fish & chips and apple strudel.  Alongside these recipes & video tutorials, people who sign up will also receive healthy eating tips, meal planners and more, to help you enjoy the food you love, only healthier.

Bob Swindell is one of the stars of the campaign and became a champion of healthy eating after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  Since his diagnosis, he has lost more than 50kg through healthy eating and a new found love of running - which has seen him compete in several marathons and even begin training to become an England Athletics coach.

Some of the UK’s best known celebrity chefs are lending their support to the campaign, with Prue Leith sharing her recipe for Ajiaco-Colombian chicken & potato soup and Ella Woodward offering her recipe for Chilli & Ginger Pho.

To watch Bob’s video and to hear more about his and the other participants’ experience of diabetes, sign up for The Food You Love between 22 May & 30 July 2017.
Researched Links:

Diabetes UK:  The food you love, but healthier

Obesity is increasingly the pathway to diabetes for adults AND children

Equivalent to more than the whole population of Scotland

Proactive healthcare in the community is cheaper than surgery

It’s not how long one lives, but how ‘Well’

Is this lack of ‘parental control’ child-abuse?

We cannot afford more diabetics

We desperately need to take action

Making it easier to eat healthily

2001 is long past and much of industry is making ‘space’ in the UK’s future ‘Industrial Odyssey’ that will be based on HAL’s ‘descendants’
A CBI survey in association with IBM reveals that while many UK firms lead the way, the digital gap grows bigger.  Nearly half of firms believe the current wave of Artificial Intelligence will be transformational & widespread; fundamentally transforming the industry and markets they work in.  However, only a third feel their business has the skills to adopt data-driven technologies, so the UK must act quickly to bridge the knowledge gap as international competition heats up.
Researched Links:

CBI: Half of firms expect AI to transform their industry

Although ‘1984’ is history, deep down most of us still have a ‘fear’ of ‘Big Brother’ and ‘self-willed’ robots

SME Supplier Locator update...

UK Government and public sector spend with SME’s is continually on the increase and by 2020, it is the stated intent of Cabinet Office that £1 of every £3 spent on government contracts goes to SME’s. The past 5 years have seen government make a priority of getting money through its supply chain into the hands of SMEs, by both setting targets and introducing new procurement mechanisms.

Against this backdrop, the WiredGov Supplier Locator service has been developed specifically to embrace the SME Agenda and provide the ideal platform for SME’s to promote their services, solutions, accreditation and success stories directly to our ever increasing audience across all government and public sector verticals and Tier 1 suppliers.

Click here to find out more and view this week’s new arrivals to the SME Supplier Locator service. 

Is this a ‘BSE moment’ for pig farmers in France, Holland, Germany & Denmark, especially after Brexit?
Following media reports last week, the Food Standards Agency wants to remind consumers of their advice about cooking pork thoroughly.  The FSA always advise that whole cuts of pork, pork products and offal should be thoroughly cooked until steaming hot throughout, the meat is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Researched Links:

Food Standards Agency:  FSA advice on pork and pork products

Telegraph:  ‘Brexit virus' caused by EU sausages causes 60,000 Britons to fall ill ...

EU lifts ban on British beef exports | UK news | The Guardian

At last, an ‘Honour’ given to someone who deserves/has earned it!
Anne-Marie Imafidon, named Young IT Professional of the Year 2013, at the UK IT Industry Awards, run by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, has recently received her MBE from the Queen.    Anne-Marie, regularly voted as one of the most influential women in IT in the UK, is, aged 27, the youngest scientist ever to be awarded an MBE.  She is also CEO & co-founder of Stemettes - an award-winning social enterprise inspiring the next generation of females into Science & Technology.
Researched Links:

BCS Youngest Scientist ever to win MBE


Women who take the lead

Time for employers to accept that most professional, technical & managerial jobs need ‘Brains not Brawn’

Big muscles not required!

Will they try and add future disasters to the Brexit bill?

On 24 May 2017, the Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional deal offering regions hit by natural disasters a significant increase in EU support.

Once adopted by the Council and the Parliament the agreed new rules will provide for the EU to meet up to 95% of the reconstruction costs of regions affected by earthquakes, floods or other natural disasters  (current level 50%).

Total EU support for disaster stricken regions could reach €9.8bn for the period 2014-2020.  This is in addition to the €500m from the solidarity fund which the EU is able to mobilise each year to help member states cope with natural disasters.
Researched Links:
EU News:  Increased EU support for regions affected by natural disasters
We may not need to ‘walk away’ to get an agreed & reasonable deal
The European Court of Justice judgement on the EU-Singapore trade deal outlines in more detail the division of trade policy competences between the EU and member states.  Open Europe's Aarti Shankar assesses what precedent this sets for a future UK-EU agreement.
Researched Links:

Open Europe:  ECJ ruling on Singapore deal offers easier route to a broad UK-EU trade deal

One notes that the Commonwealth population is over 5 times the size of a post Brexit EU!

Preparing for ‘Global’ Trade

We are leaving the EU’s Single Market, which makes the direction of Brexit negotiations clearer!

A Brexit plan that Parliament can debate without giving away UK ‘negotiating secrets’!

The greed of ‘fake’ sites makes them even ‘sicker’ than the bomber!

The Charity Commission is encouraging people wishing to support the victims of this week’s terrorist attack in Manchester to donate to a genuine charitable appeal.

In light of concerns about fraud, the Charity Commission is taking the unusual step of recommending people to give to a specific charitable appeal, supported by a number of charities.  However, the Commission does not endorse individual charities.  It reminds people that there are quick & simple ways of checking that an appeal is from a registered charity.
Researched Links:

Charity Commission:  Generous public should make sure donations go to genuine charities supporting the victims in Manchester, says charity regulator


 More contributions to the Brexit process

Still a ‘hot topic’, with widely spread views, for those who put fingers to keyboard in order to ‘share their views’:

Researched Links:

WAG:  Mark Drakeford welcomes Mike Russell MSP to Wales for Brexit discussions

EU News:  EC receives mandate to begin negotiations with the UK

EU News:  Increased EU support for regions affected by natural disasters

EC debates future of European defence

RUSI:   Emmanuel Macron, Britain and European Security: Preliminary Indicators

Open Europe:  Conservative immigration plans reinforce the need for a Global Britain after Brexit

Open Europe:  Labour adopts ‘cake and eat it’ position on single market and free movement

Open Europe:  ECJ ruling on Singapore deal offers easier route to a broad UK-EU trade deal


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No-one yet knows what lies ahead for the country’s public services on the other side of the general election on 8 June. But we do know that it has never been more important for those providing public services to highlight the very best projects and the dedicated staff in the public, private and voluntary sectors who are at the sharp end, day in day out.
The 2017 Guardian Public Service Awards are the crucible of fresh thinking. Entries will open on 14 June and we'll be looking for teams from the public, private and voluntary sectors who work on the very best projects, and who draw on the latest technology and collaborative working practices, to do the best they can with scant resources.
Full details soon - so brush up those award-winning entries now.

Also on the network
Why size matters: measuring success in the world of megaprojects

Why size matters: measuring success in the world of megaprojects
Crossrail, HS2, Hinkley Point C and other billion-pound projects may be controversial, but experts say they can be easier to get past politicians

Tory manifesto praise for public servants will fade after the election

Tory manifesto praise for public servants will fade after the election
Conservatives saying the state is super? Public managers should remember this moment when the real cuts bite

News in brief
• Multi-million pound social investment fund launched to tackle homelessness
• Liverpool chief executive to 'step aside' after arrest
• Police failed to engage with public, Met knife campaign chief admits
• Labour plan to end public sector pay cap would lead to 5% wage boost - IFS
• Conservative manifesto blasted for ‘failing civil service on pay'