ICO reopens its regulatory sandbox

From: RegTech Analyst

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has reopened its regulatory sandbox to help companies develop new products by using personal data in a safe way.

With the announcement, the regulator is now accepting pitches to join from startups, SMEs and large organisations, across private, public and voluntary sectors.

This year, the ICO sandbox is looking for projects focusing on two themes: children’s privacy or data sharing. It is particularly interestedin data sharing in the areas of health, central government, finance, higher and further education or law enforcement.

The regulatory sandbox enables organisations to work through how they use personal data in their projects with the ICO’s specialist staff to help ensure they comply with data protection rules. It also provides organisations with reassurance from enforcement action, where feasible, and increased public trust that innovative products and services are not in breach of data protection legislation.

“We are looking for viable projects from all sizes of organisations that have the potential to be transformative, and which will bring real public benefit,” said Ian Hulme, director of regulatory assurance at the ICO.

“Protecting children’s privacy online is a high priority for the ICO. Ultimately the regulatory sandbox aims to support innovators to improve confidence amongst children, young people and their parents and carers that their personal information is being properly protected when they are online.

“On data sharing our aim is to promote and enable confident, responsible and lawful data sharing in the wider public interest. In particular, the regulatory sandbox aims to help demonstrate that data protection legislation is not a barrier to proportionate sharing of personal data.”

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