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Opportunities with the ICO

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This is a pivotal time for data protection and privacy.

This government and others around the globe have recognised that personal data is the fuel that powers so much of what makes our economy, our home life, our public services function.

We have a digital infrastructure that was unimaginable 20 years ago and data protection laws are converging across the globe. Consumer trust is ever more central to both business and the public sector, and a rapidly expanding digital economy is asking more questions of us all.

Big data, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are no longer the future, they are the now.

So it’s clear that our work as the UK’s privacy and information rights regulator has never been more important.

The arrival of a new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and UK Data Protection Act in May this year means real change for the rights of UK citizens and for the accountability of organisations processing personal information. It also means huge change for the regulator.

I am strengthening my team in number and expertise and we’re moving the ICO to a level where we can deliver our new responsibilities and obligations to organisations and, importantly, the public.

That includes the recruitment of a number of new senior roles to give us the capacity, capability and resilience to tackle our developing regulatory brief.

In February, the Treasury provided the ICO pay flexibility for the next three years. This is critically important to be able to attract and retain expert staff. It gives me the ability to build an ICO that’s bright and bold and fully equipped to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

We’ve welcomed just over 70 staff from a range of diverse backgrounds and experience to work at the ICO in the past 12 months and we have plans for at least another 150 in the next two years. As well as roles in our head office in Wilmslow, Cheshire, there will be opportunities in London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff too.

Data protection is the largest area of work for us, but it is only one of 11 pieces of legislation my office oversees. The Freedom of Information Act, for example, continues to have enormous impact on the accountability of the nation’s public authorities. So much so that I’m seeking to further bolster our resources in that area.

As you can see, we’re unique because we regulate the whole of the private, public and third sectors.

If you believe your experience and expertise is a strong fit with our work and you’d like to join our rapidly expanding team, then maybe you’ll soon be helping us build the future ICO.

Elizabeth Denham
Information Commissioner