Proposed reforms within the authorities’s bonfire of European data protection guidelines may threaten the independence of the Data Commissioner’s Workplace, the outgoing commissioner warned yesterday. In a foreword to the ICO’s response to the proposals in a session doc ‘Data: a new direction’, revealed final month, Elizabeth Denham states that proposals for the federal government to approve ICO steering and to nominate the chief govt don’t sufficiently safeguard its independence.
‘I urge authorities to rethink these proposals to make sure the independence of the regulator is preserved,’ she states.
The ICO is presently an unbiased public physique answerable to parliament, although sponsored by the Division for Digital, Tradition Media and Sport. Denham is because of full her five-year time period of workplace this month.
Total, the ICO’s 89-page response cautiously approves of lots of the authorities’s reform proposals for an unbiased data protection regime, whereas a number of occasions calling for extra element. For instance it agrees that the proposed requirement for the ICO’s remit to incorporate financial progress and competitors would assist to help using data to create financial advantages. Nonetheless this might require ‘appropriate protections’.
The ICO additionally agrees that the present strategy to consent for internet cookies ‘doesn’t work for folks or companies’, observing that present consent mechanisms ‘don’t present efficient transparency or significant management’. It welcomes the federal government’s ambition to create a ‘friction-free on-line expertise… through which customers’ preferences about how their data is used and shared are revered’.
On a extra crucial word, the ICO is ‘involved’ by the federal government’s intention to take away the precise to a human assessment of automated decision-making. It notes that the precise to assessment ‘is meant to guard folks the place an organisation is finishing up decision-making solely by automated means, with none human involvement, the place that decision-making has authorized or equally important results on them’.
On the controversy over whether or not the reformed data protection regime will meet worldwide ‘adequacy’ requirements, the ICO says extra data is required concerning the authorities’s proposed ‘risk-based strategy’.
‘It will even be useful to grasp extra element concerning the proposals for future adequacy selections to “take into account the different legal and cultural traditions which inform how other countries achieve high standards of data protection”. We sit up for seeing extra element about how these adjustments would work in apply.’
In her foreword, Denham notes: ‘Because the proposals are developed, the satan can be within the element. Will probably be essential that authorities ensures the ultimate package deal of reforms clearly keep rights for people, minimise burdens for enterprise and safeguard the independence of the regulator.’