ICO on hunt for technical help

The UK Information Commissioner's Office is to appoint a panel of technology advisors to help it keep on top of new technology.

The regulator, which has suffered criticism that it has been caught on the hop by a number of emerging threats to personal privacy, is appointing a Technology Reference Panel of "trusted experts with a range of experience".

The unpaid panel will meet twice a year to discuss new technologies, and will offer advice about ongoing threats throughout the year.

Its members will not be involved in the day-to-day resolution of complaints.

Tech blog Data Protector revealed that the ICO's executive team had agreed to create the new panel at a meeting on July. The issue of improving access to technical advice had been brought up earlier in the year, in a three-year business plan published in April.

The plan outlined the need for the ICO to "stay ahead of developments, particularly in technology and systems, so as to offer an informed perspective on their regulation".

The ICO has recently come under fire over its handling of complaints over behavioural advertising and the investigation of unsecured Wi-Fi data collected by Google's Street View cars.

As yet, there is no word on how the ICO plans to appoint its panel of experts.