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The UK has a new Information Commissioner

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Yorkman)

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has appointed a new leader, the data watchdog has announced.

As of January 5, Elizabeth Denham CBE will no longer serve as the Information Commissioner. In her place comes John Edwards, who will serve for a period of five years.

Prior to joining the ICO, Edwards was the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner for eight years, during which he chaired the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (now known as the Global Privacy Assembly). He was also a member of the OECD’s Informal Group of Experts on Children in the Digital Environment.

Edwards also spent 14 years working as a barrister and solicitor. During this time, he was a policy adviser to the New Zealand Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The ICO usually makes headlines when it fines large companies for violating data protection practices, or for mishandling a data breach. This year, however, the spotlight will also be on the proposed reforms to the Data Protection Act, on which the ICO will work with the UK government. Furthermore, it will also work on the introduction of the Online Safety Bill.

Finally, this year should see a stronger emphasis on the protection of children online, through the Age Appropriate Design Code which, according the organization says has already forced international tech companies to make improvements to their platforms.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.