ICO publishes annual report (18/19) highlighting “unprecedented” year

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The ICO has published its Annual Report for 2018/19 which it says highlights what they refer to as an unprecedented year, which includes (for the 12 month period up to 31st March 2019):

  • Helping the public and organisations:
    • The ICO helpline received over 471,000 contacts (a 66% increase from the previous period)
    • Almost twice as many data protection complaints reported to the ICO in the wake of GDPR with 41,661 complaints in the 18/19 period
    • With guidance and codes
  • Enforcement:
    • 11 assessment notices in conjunction with their investigations into data analytics and politics
    • Enforcement, warnings and reprimands across a range of sectors including health, central government, criminal justice, education, retail and finance
    • 2018/19 a record year for penalties under Data Protection Act 1998 (“old data protection”)

Speaking about the report, Elizabeth Denham (the Information Commissioner) said:

“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.”

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