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Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham receives award for contribution to IT

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has been awarded the Society Medal by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, for her outstanding contribution to the IT sector.

The industry body said Ms Denham had made a vital contribution to making digital technology good for society.

It praised her work on investigating data collection practices in political campaigns, which included probes of Cambridge Analytica, Facebook and Leave.EU.

She was also praised by the Institute for her leading role in helping firms to better understand data protection legislation.

Kathy Farndon, chair of the BCS Society Board, said: “Elizabeth Denham is an inspirational individual who is committed to making digital technology and data work for the benefit of society.

“Under her leadership, the ICO has been able to embark on the most daunting cross-border investigations on the misuse of individuals’ data. She is passionate about the ethical and safe collection, storage and use of data and has achieved a huge amount in her time in office.”

Ms Denham was appointed Information Commissioner in July 2016, having previously been Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, Canada and the Canadian Assistant Privacy Commissioner.

She was awarded a CBE in the 2019 New Years Honours for services to protecting information.

“Ethical and responsible use of information is crucial to so much of the work the ICO does,” she said.

“That could be looking at how organisations can innovate with data, whilst ensuring compliance with the law as part of our Sandbox, or encouraging openness by design within public bodies in our Freedom of Information work.

“Ethical use of data is what BCS’ Society Medal represents and why I’m proud to receive it not only for myself but on behalf of my colleagues across the ICO.

“The pandemic has brought an acceleration in the uptake of digital services that would otherwise have taken years; therefore, ensuring people can trust organisations’ use of their personal data is more important than ever.

“The ICO will continue to work with government and businesses to help them make changes and meet the standards embedded within UK law and represented by this award.”