UK privacy watchdog grapples with backlog of fines, reprimands following election
2024-7-10 21:1:29 Author:查看原文) 阅读量:2 收藏

he United Kingdom’s data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), has a backlog of fines and reprimands to announce following the British general election, a spokesperson has confirmed.

The regulator announced no actions for nearly a month, from 14 May to Wednesday, when three police forces were censured for their poor handling of Freedom of Information Act requests.

It is not clear in total how many enforcement notices and announcements have been delayed during the course of the election campaign. 

An ICO spokesperson told Recorded Future News: “Like all public sector bodies, we followed the pre-election period of sensitivity rules around ensuring our work is politically impartial, and we were not looking to distract attention away from the importance of the election.”

This caution meant “some of our announcements and communications were delayed, and so we expect to be busier over the next couple of weeks,” the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson declined to explain whether any of these announcements relate to data protection issues in the public sector. It is not clear how political impartiality rules could be violated by similar issues in the private sector, such as fines regarding nuisance calls by marketing companies.

The ICO’s most recent action against a central government authority was made in March, when the Home Office was warned about using ankle tags to electronically monitor the location of migrants.

More than 20 central and local government authorities have been censured in total by the regulator according to its “Action we’ve taken” page.

As part of a two-year trial launched in June 2022, the ICO said it would only rarely issue fines against public sector organizations as they “do not impact shareholders or individual directors in the same way as they do in the private sector.”

During the election, the ICO said this trial had concluded: “While we have continued to issue fines to public bodies where appropriate, we have also been using our other regulatory tools to ensure people’s information is handled appropriately and money isn't diverted away from where it's needed the most.

“We will now review the two-year trial before making a decision on the public sector approach in the autumn. In the meantime, we will continue to apply this approach to our regulatory activities in relation to public sector organisations.”

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