What is the Information Commissioner’s Office?

ICO

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent authority that was designed to maintain information rights. The ICO reports directly to Parliament and is ‘sponsored’ in Government through the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).

The ICO oversees the following legislative laws:

  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Environmental Information Regulations 2004
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003

The ICO has the power to issue the following notices against companies/individuals:

  • Monetary Penalty notices–up to £500,000 for serious breaches and failings of the Data Protection Act and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations
  • Decision notices—this is the Commissioner’s view on whether a public authority failed to comply with the Freedom of Information Act
  • Undertakings—this commits an organisation to a remedial action course in order to improve its compliance with the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act
  • Enforcement notices—this type of notice also includes ‘stop now’ orders that are given when there are breach to legislative law and then requires the company/organisations to adopt a remedial course in order to comply with the law
  • Prosecutions—this course of action is used for criminal prosecutions under the legislative laws

Additional Information

Useful Links

ICO Service Standards

Provided by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)