Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham is said to be staying longer than expected to give the government more time to recruit her successor.
Denham, a Canadian national and former information and data protection officer for the province of British Columbia and assistant data protection officer for Canada, joined the Information Commisioner’s Office (ICO) in 2016, specifically overseeing the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). in 2018.
An ICO spokeswoman said: “At the request of the Secretary of State for DCMS, Elizabeth Denham has agreed to extend her term as Information Commissioner to October 31, 20201 while the hiring process for her successor is completed.”
Denham, who was criticized last year for returning to work in Canada for some time during a critical period in the ICO’s pandemic response, should have left his five-year post in July.
In a blog post announcing the extension of her term in office, which looked to 2021, Denham said there was a positive story to tell about the work of the ICO this year.
Although the main focus of the organization continues to be on helping organizations through the Covid-19 pandemic, Denham expects data sharing to be a key concern in 2021.
“After our guidance was published last month, we will also focus on helping organizations share data. The guide is accompanied by practical resources to help organizations share data in accordance with the law.
“As I discussed with the House of Lords Public Services Committee this month, data sharing is a major focus, and we will also support broader work to encourage the culture change needed to remove barriers to data sharing,” she wrote.
This year’s ICO work plan also includes the expected effects of the age-appropriate design code at the end of the transition phase around its introduction, new guidelines for political campaigns, face recognition, as well as codes of conduct and certification systems.
Operational work in 2021 will include new phases of work addressing data brokerage practices, the now resumed investigation of Adtech and the use of the personal data of victims of sexual crime.