New Information Commissioner Approved

On Wednesday 27 April 2016, The Culture Media and Sport Committee approved the appointment of Elizabeth Denham as the new UK Information Commissioner following a pre-appointment hearing.

Ms Denham has held the role of Information and Privacy Commissioner in British Columbia since 2010. Prior to that she served as Assistant Privacy Commissioner of Canada for three years (Full CV here).

Jesse Norman MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

“The Committee noted with interest Ms Denham’s views on a range of topics, including the possible retention of emails as official records, the extension of FOI and directors’ liability for data breaches, in particular.

We also noted Ms Denham’s track record on data protection wit Government in British Columbia, and her proactive approach to protection of privacy with major international technology companies.”

Subject to final approval from Her Majesty The Queen, Ms Denham will take over from incumbent Christopher Graham in summer 2016. Mr Graham said:

“I am delighted that Elizabeth Denham is set to take over as the next Information Commissioner. Elizabeth is an experienced information rights practitioner, essential when the ICO is busier than ever and facing the challenges of the digital age.”

Denham will have to hit the ground running when she starts. She will have just two years to ensure that UK Data Controllers are adequately prepared for the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which represents the biggest change to the EU data protection regime in 20 years.

She will also have to help public authorities implement any changes the Government may make to the Freedom of Information regime as a result of the FOI Commission’s recent report.

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