Latest news from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

16th December 2019

Over recent weeks there have been a number of developments at the ICO which will be of relevance to schools. A summary of the key developments is provided below.

Age Appropriate Design Code

The ICO recently submitted the final version of the Code to the Secretary of State. The Code will need to be laid in Parliament before it takes effect. We provided updates in bulletins earlier this year on the progress of this statutory Code which gives guidance to online service providers on how they can safeguard children’s personal data on the internet.

Although schools are unlikely to be required to comply with this Code, it is important that they check that the apps and websites they use in the classroom will meet the design standards in the Code, once it has been approved by Parliament. We will provide a further update in the new year.

For further information, please see the guidance here.

Detailed Special Category Data Guidance

On 14 November, the ICO published an update to its guidance on the processing of special category data. Although the Guidance is not fundamentally unexpected or ground-breaking, it does provide plenty of nuanced examples of what constitutes special category data and explains how an organisation can process special category data whilst still complying with the GDPR, including within the HR context.

The guidance can be accessed here.

Draft Detailed Guidance on Subject Access Requests (SARs)

The ICO has published draft guidance for organisations on SARs and is currently consulting on it. This expands on the guidance the ICO published on its website shortly before the GDPR came into force in May 2018. The consultation closes on 12 February and we will provide a further update on this guidance once it has been published in final form.

In the meantime, the draft guidance can be accessed here.

Accountability Toolkit

Organisations must be able to demonstrate their compliance with the GDPR and the ICO is creating an accountability toolkit to assist organisations to do this. The consultation on the toolkit has closed but we will provide further updates on its progress in the new year.

For further information, please see the guidance here.


Contact our Education team now.

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