The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has appointed Simon McDougall as executive director for technology policy and innovation.
It said he will lead new approaches to information rights practice and promote the legally compliant processing of personal data as a core element of new technologies and business systems.
McDougall (pictured) is currently managing director of Promontory, a risk management and regulatory compliance consulting firm acquired in 2016 by IBM, where he founded a global privacy practice. He has worked across a wide range of sectors and jurisdictions on privacy, compliance, digital initiatives and innovation.
He has also served on the board of directors and the European advisory board at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), and with other consultative and advisory groups.
McDougall said: “Technological change continues to accelerate, and it is vital that the ICO remains constructively and robustly engaged as organisations innovate in the use of personal data.”
Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: “We have ambitious plans for our work in the crucial area of technology and also to ensure we are an innovative regulator, open to new ideas and new ways of doing things.
“As a globally respected figure in the world of privacy and innovation, Simon is a great fit for this new role, which will strengthen our expertise and responsiveness to new challenges and opportunities.”
The ICO emphasised how the development of technology is affecting its work. It has identified the impact of AI on society as one of its priorities for 2018-19, and has plans for a regulatory ‘sandbox’ to support organisations in developing new products and services.
It has also published its first Technology Strategy outlining how it will adapt to technological change as it affects information rights and plan ahead for new technologies.