Information Commissioner's Office
Blog: How coming to work at the ICO on a secondment can benefit both of us
Blog posted by: Simon McDougall, ICO Executive Director for Technology and Innovation, 22 October 2019.
The ICO is a varied and exciting place to work.
On any given day, our employees might be investigating the potentially unlawful use of personal information to sell people goods, services or even political messages, or considering the privacy implications of emerging technologies such as facial recognition and artificial intelligence.
They might be taking action against organisations responsible for data breaches, nuisance calls or excessive delays to freedom of information requests, or liaising with our counterparts overseas on international policy developments.
We have significantly expanded our permanent workforce over the last two years but we are also keen to increase the variety and number of people who join us on temporary secondment from other organisations.
Secondments help support the ICO’s varied and influential work by bringing in specialist expertise, fresh thinking and new ways of looking at or doing things.
They are also of real benefit to the people who join us – and their permanent employers.
Secondees gain new knowledge, skills and experience from working at the ICO which will not only improve their own personal expertise and boost their CVs but will also make them better and more valuable employees when they return.
There may even be a reputational benefit for organisations whose staff are considered suitable to work with us, and we welcome direct contact from employers willing to second members of their staff to the ICO.
Secondees can be from the public, private or third sectors and we are looking for people from a range of backgrounds to work in all areas of our business.
This could include experts in policy, legal, cyber-security, audit, investigations, international relations, IT, information governance, communications, customer service, finance, organisational development, research and grants or project management.
Prior experience in the legislation we oversee is always desirable - but not essential - and we are happy to consider people with a wide range of expertise, and a passion for what they do.
At this moment in time, we are especially keen to recruit in my directorate, the Technology Policy and Innovation Service. Exploring and predicting future privacy challenges is an ever more vital part of our work, and so we are looking for technical specialists with knowledge and experience in:
- Artificial intelligence;
- Privacy enhancing techniques, such as anonymisation, pseudonymisation, differential privacy, and homomorphic encryption;
- Biometric technologies;
- The Internet of Things, including areas such as smart cities and smart speakers;
- Connected and autonomous vehicles; and
- Horizon scanning – with the ability to identify and evaluate emerging technologies and assess their potential impact on information rights.
We are also particularly looking for policy specialists, project managers and people with experience of audits and risk management.
We would typically expect a secondment to last between six and 24 months, although in some circumstances we would consider shorter periods. Secondees retain their parent organisation’s terms and conditions but must sign a confidentiality agreement, a code of conduct and declare any political affiliations.
So if you are interested in a secondment at the ICO, discuss it with your employer first to ensure they support your application. Then visit the Secondment Opportunities page on our website or email a copy of your CV to email@example.com and briefly outline the area that you are interested in. We are sure you would enjoy working for us and we will be happy to have you.
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