Blog: Global collaboration and how it helps the UK

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Blog: Global collaboration and how it helps the UK

A blog by Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner

21 October 2019

We live in an age of borderless data flows. We can be in our own homes, but as quickly as we tap an app on our phones, our information travels outside our personal four walls and is transmitted around the world.

Wherever that data flows, we expect our information to be properly looked after. With that in mind, there has never been a more important time for global coherence in data protection and privacy.

As UK Information Commissioner, part of my role is contributing to global collaboration, to ultimately better protect people here in the UK.

That work includes chairing the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (ICDPPC), which meets in Albania this week.

Our focus this year is on convergence and connectivity – in our laws, in our standards, and in how regulators like the ICO can work with our counterpart regulators across borders. That is the only way we can keep our citizens’ data safe.

We’ll be thinking about some of the fundamental challenges data protection regulators around the world are facing. How do we support consumers in our own countries, after a multinational company based thousands of miles away gets hacked? How do we make sure our voices are heard when privacy is a small part of an emerging international issue like cryptocurrency?

There’s an Albanian proverb that feels relevant in answering those questions: he who leans against a big tree will always find shade.

The ICDPPC is that big tree. The membership comprises more than 120 privacy and data protection authorities from across the world, and represents views from all corners of the globe. This week’s conference will bring together members, observers and the broader community.

We hope to make significant progress in putting in place a framework for practical action  for members so the group can continue to protect, shape and support people’s rights. Such progress would make sure we all benefit from the tree’s shade.

There’ll be updates on the ICO’s twitter feed, or for a more detailed picture, head to the ICDPPC conference website

Elizabeth Denham

Elizabeth Denham was appointed UK Information Commissioner on 15 July 2016, having previously held the position of Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, Canada.


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 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.
  4. 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.
  5. To report a concern to the ICO go to

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