Information Commissioner's Office
ICO publishes annual report covering an ‘unprecedented’ year
The public has woken up to the potential of their personal data, the Information Commissioner has said as the ICO’s annual report for 2018-19 was published today. Elizabeth Denham also said it covered an ‘unprecedented’ year for the regulator.
Ms Denham continued:
“The ICO has covered an enormous amount of ground over the last year - from the introduction of a new data protection law, to our calls to change the freedom of information law, from record-setting fines to a record number of people raising data protection concerns.
“The biggest moment of the year was the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force. This saw people wake up to the potential of their personal data, leading to greater awareness of the role of the regulator when their data rights aren’t being respected. The doubling of concerns raised with our office reflects that.”
Highlights from 12 months to 31 March 2019 include:
Helping the public and organisations
- The ICO’s helpline, chat and written advice services received 471,224 contacts in 2018-19, a 66% increase from 2017/18 (283,727 contacts)
- Data protection complaints received by the ICO increased from 21,019 in 2017/18 to 41,661 in 2018/19
- Supporting the public through the ICO’s many expanded public-facing services (like the helpline and live text service)
- Helping organisations, small or large, embed the GDPR and DPA 2018
- Preparation of statutory codes focusing on age appropriate design, data sharing, direct marketing, and data protection and journalism.
Enforcing the law
- Using new powers of inspection – issuing 11 assessment notices in conjunction with our investigations into data analytics for political purposes, political parties, data brokers, credit reference agencies and others
- Taking action through enforcement notices
- Issuing warnings and reprimands across a range of sectors including health, central government, criminal justice, education, retail and finance
- 2018/19 was a record-breaking year of monetary penalties under the DPA 1998.
In May 2017 we launched a formal investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes, after allegations were made about the ‘invisible processing’ of personal data and the micro-targeting of political adverts during the 2016 EU referendum. The investigation eventually broadened and has become the largest investigation of its type by any data protection authority.
The investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes was not our only major investigation during 2018/19. We devoted considerable resources to wide ranging investigations, led by our new High Priority Investigations and Intelligence Directorate. Case studies of some of these investigations are set out in the report.
Notes to Editors
- 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. It has its head office in Wilmslow, Cheshire, and regional offices in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
- 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), Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR) and a further five Acts / Regulations.
- The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new data protection law which applies 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 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.
- 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. The maximum under the Data Protection Act 1998 was £500,000. Any monetary penalty is paid into the Treasury’s Consolidated Fund and is not kept by ICO.
- Previous ICO annual reports can be read on our website at https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/our-information/annual-reports.
- To report a concern to the ICO telephone our helpline 0303 123 1113 or go to ico.org.uk/concerns.
Latest News from
Information Commissioner's Office
Blog: Adtech - the reform of real time bidding has started and will continue17/01/2020 16:25:00
A blog by Simon McDougall, ICO Executive Director of Technology and Innovation
National retailer fined half a million pounds for failing to secure information of at least 14 million people10/01/2020 13:25:00
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined DSG Retail Limited (DSG) £500,000 after a ‘point of sale’ computer system was compromised as a result of a cyber-attack, affecting at least 14 million people.
ICO launches consultation on draft direct marketing code of practice09/01/2020 09:10:00
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has launched a public consultation on a draft direct marketing code of practice.
Blog: The benefits of sharing personal data – what can we learn from Open Banking?07/01/2020 13:20:00
The ICO’s Regulators’ Business Innovation Privacy Hub has recently been looking at the key data protection considerations for innovators who are working in the Open Banking space.
Trust, technology and slippers with torches02/01/2020 14:10:00
Jonathan Bamford holds up a tatty bundle of papers. They’re scrumpled, time worn, ripped and held together with yellowing Sellotape, but with the Royal coat of arms crown still proudly visible on the cover.
Statement on ICO-approved certification schemes23/12/2019 12:10:00
The ICO has announced it will be working with UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) to deliver the ICO-approved certification schemes.
London pharmacy fined after “careless” storage of patient data20/12/2019 14:25:00
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined a London-based pharmacy £275,000 for failing to ensure the security of special category data.
Blog: The Data Protection Fee: does your company need to pay?04/12/2019 10:10:10
Blog posted by: Paul Arnold, Deputy Chief Executive Officer/Executive Officer, 03 December 2019.
Blog: ICO and The Alan Turing Institute open consultation on first piece of AI guidance03/12/2019 09:10:00
A blog aimed at data scientists, app developers, business owners, CEOs or data protection practitioners, whose organisations are using, or thinking about using, artificial intelligence (AI) to support, or to make, decisions about individuals, by Simon McDougall, Executive Director Technology and Innovation (02 December 2019).